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Focus on “all who are yet to come”

May 31, 2023

Daily Scripture

Psalm 78:1-8, 71:14-19

Psalm 78

1 Listen, my people, to my teaching;
    tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a proverb.
   I’ll declare riddles from days long gone–
3         ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
        ones that our ancestors told us.
4 We won’t hide them from their descendants;
    we’ll tell the next generation
    all about the praise due the LORD and his strength—
    the wondrous works God has done.
5 He established a law for Jacob
    and set up Instruction for Israel,
        ordering our ancestors
        to teach them to their children.
6 This is so that the next generation
    and children not yet born will know these things,
        and so they can rise up and tell their children
7     to put their hope in God—
        never forgetting God’s deeds,
        but keeping God’s commandments—
8     and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
    a rebellious, stubborn generation,
        a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
        and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.

Psalm 71

14 But me? I will hope. Always.
    I will add to all your praise.
15 My mouth will repeat your righteous acts
    and your saving deeds all day long.
    I don’t even know how many of those there are!
16 I will dwell on your mighty acts, my LORD.
    LORD, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.
17 You’ve taught me since my youth, God,
    and I’m still proclaiming your wondrous deeds!
18 So, even in my old age with gray hair,
    don’t abandon me, God!
    Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm,
        tell all who are yet to come about your strength,
19         and about your ultimate righteousness, God,
    because you’ve done awesome things!
Who can compare to you, God?

Daily Reflection & Prayer

It’s easy to think of a legacy purely in financial terms (and that’s part of the process, shaped by our level of economic resources). But Pastor Hamilton reminded us that we also leave a legacyby the faith we share.” God’s people have always valued teaching. In Israel, the focus of teaching was not to satisfy random human curiosity, but to pass on the knowledge of God’s powerful acts to future generations. They knew that God wants us to develop our own minds and others faithfully and well.

  • Psalm 78 said that while learning has present benefits, it is strongly future-focused. God’s followers, through the centuries, have played a major role in starting many types of schools. That’s because their faith teaches them to care about future generations, not merely their own comfort and security. How important is it to you that your faith not just make your life better, but reach those who will be here after you’re gone?
  • Psalm 71 was not like investment ads that picture our older years as a non-stop, luxurious vacation. The psalmist’s “bucket list” was a lifelong calling to share God’s love and power: “Even in my old age with gray hair, don’t abandon me, God! Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm, tell all who are yet to come about your strength.” Whether you’re 21 or 81, how are you (or how will you start) building a legacy to tell future generations about the God you love and serve?

Lord God, I want to accept the challenge. I want to live a life with the big picture aim of helping present and future generations know your strength and ultimate righteousness. Please guide me. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Jennifer Creager

Jennifer Creager

Jennifer Creagar is the Community Assistance Coordination Director in Resurrection's Congregational Care Ministry. She is married and loves spending time with her family, and she enjoys writing and photography.

Here’s a Not Great Moment in Grandmothering: my then 8 year old grandson told his family at dinner, “Mema says the umpires are blind.” First, my apologies to anyone who is, or has ever been an umpire. I was actually expressing (poorly) my disagreement with the officiating of one specific baseball game, and without the grace that someone standing out in the hot sun with people throwing baseballs at 100 mph in their direction deserves.

I have a lot of great examples to live up to in the grandparenting department. I was blessed to know and be loved by all four grandparents and one remarkable great-grandmother. They were about as varied a group of people as you can imagine, and their legacy has served me well. In their lives, I got to see a love of prayer and Scripture, a zest for living and pouring love on people that is unmatched to this day, the kind of patience, love, and strength it takes to nurture a long life and marriage, the joy to be found in reading, music, the garden and the woods, and the blessing of a sense of humor.

I know that I want, more than anything, for my children and grandchildren (and their children and grandchildren, and on and on) to know God’s love, grace, and hope in their lives. I want them to hear that from me, to see the truth of God’s love and grace in my life (and not careless, graceless opinions of sports officiating or anything else). I want this not just for my grandchildren, but everyone whose life connects with mine, for a moment or for a lifetime.

How can I do that? Today’s Scripture offers some guidance and examples. Fill my head and my heart with good teaching (Psalm 78:1), Praise God and dwell on what God has done, remembering the wonder of it. Hope. Always. (Psalm 71:14-16)

If I am deeply connected to God’s love and place in my life, I am promised that love and hope will spill out on others. I’ll never be a perfect grandmother, but God promises that I can demonstrate love and hope if I fill that life with God’s Word and remember all the good things that have been passed along through the generations before me. That’s the legacy I received, and the one I hope to share.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.