A brief summary of what was preached on Sunday:
Legacy. It’s a loaded word. It refers to what’s passed on to, and to what’s passed on by, a person or group or nation. It’s a fitting word on Father’s Day, when our minds are drawn to “who” our own fathers have been to us. It’s a fitting word on a Sunday when we honour our high school graduates, who have received so much and are now stepping forward, stepping out, moving on, as a result of that legacy – what will they make of it? It’s a fitting word on National Aboriginal Day, set apart by our church as a day of prayer for our aboriginal populations, when we consider our own national impact on the aboriginal cultures of our land.
But let’s stop thinking of legacy as where we’re coming from, or what we’ve inherited. Let’s think of it as what we’re passing on. What will our legacy be, to our children and grandchildren? How do we move from what we’ve received, whether we embrace it or rebel against it, to what we are and what that means we’ll pass on? We all do it – it happens naturally. Perhaps not reflectively; perhaps we don’t always consider what it is that we’re passing on. I recently read that 94% of Anglicans see passing on good manners as a priority in their parenting; 83% see passing on tolerance as a priority in their parenting; only 36% see passing on the faith as a priority in their parenting.
How can this be? Do we take it for granted, that Jesus opened to us a familial relationship with God – we are to call Him Father? Not such a common thing, before Jesus – certainly not in the sense that He meant it. Parents make vows at baptism, vows to raise their children in the life and faith of the Church – are these just words that are said? How can good manners and tolerance compare to the riches of knowing God, and being known by God, our Father? They have their respective places, certainly – but perhaps more consideration, more reflection, more intention, is needed in our prioritizing when we raise our children. What will be our legacy to the next generation?