Archive for October 10th, 2006

For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. [Psalm 61:5]

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. [Psalm 119:111]

Tonight at Bible Study we talked about heritage and tradition (thank you’s go to Nancy for the topic), and it’s really gotten me thinking. Of course, about the obvious things that we usually think about: the spiritual heritage that we leave our children, familial tradition…

 Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. [Acts 20:32]

But the point Nancy made tonight was about the heritage and tradition we have in Christ, and that we leave with those around us apart from the familial heritage we usually think about. As a single woman, who doesn’t have children to impart any kind of heritage to (Lord willing, someday!) this really resonated with me.

 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.  [Ephesians 1:18]

Of course, I’ve always thought of that in terms of, say, teaching 3rd grade Sunday School and other such things… nothing new there. But I hadn’t thought about heritage in terms of the more broad, generalized heritage we leave to all the poeple we interact with on a daily basis. I like thinking about it that way… just as much as we work purposefully to create heritage for our families, we can engage in purposeful heritage-creating in all the other arenas of our lives.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you. [I Peter 1:3-4] 

And I wonder– what heritage have I created? I hope I’ve created a heritage of safety and healthy relationships for my clients… although I’m too much of a realist to suppose that’s the case for everyone I’ve seen. I hope I’ve created a heritage of integration in the psychology and faith arenas. And I hope I’ve created a heritage of studying and service among the brothers and sisters I worship with… and I hope I’ve impacted some of their lives as much as they’ve impacted mine. But can you really know the heritage you leave? And can I overcome the bad heritage I’ve left in the times and places I’ve failed– or at least create a new one in those times and space in spite of that? Of course… that’s the essence of grace… and for that I’m entirely grateful.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
[Romans 5:1-2]

I want to leave a heritage of grace, love, and service– with wherever and with whomever. Too often, I fail in that… I leave a heritage of busyness and distraction… and I’ve become increasingly aware of that in the last couple of months. I’m trying to spend more time in the moment instead of on what’s left to do, more time with the poeple I’m with rather than the people on the other end of the cellphone… more time on community and the things that really matter. More time creating a real heritage.


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