Before I forget, let me wish each and every one of you reading this a Happy Mother’s Day!
As we usually do on this Sunday each year, we turned the service over to the Youth Group to lead the whole thing -- and that’s always such a blessing. Sara Diemer even honestly wept a little bit when she was sharing how much it meant to her to see our FCC teens up there, leading the worship music and serving in so many other ways. A large part of what we’re doing here on this corner in Peoria is to develop one another as maturing Christian brothers and sisters so that there are always new layers of generations honoring God and reaching out to still new layers of generations. We’re developing a legacy that will continue to honor Christ long after the people before us -- and long after we ourselves -- are long gone.
In that same vein, we took the time to celebrate those FCCers who are graduating this month from various levels -- Mariah ArrequinQuintero, Josiah Christianson, Matthew Ciaccio, Mena Phetsavanh, and Eden Smith, who are all moving on to High School; Stephen Christianson and Michael Wietharn, who are both moving on to college; and Megan Wright, who is graduating from college and starting her new position with InterVarsity. As we talked about in the service, this isn’t actually so much a time to celebrate their achievements as individuals (though that’s not a bad thing to do, of course), but rather a time to celebrate that everything that they’ve done up to this point now serves as a foundation for God to build upon from this point forward -- and that’s exciting and worth celebrating!
In her teaching time this week, Sara Diemer shared an overview of what the teens have been looking at in Scripture since October -- the family line that runs from Abraham through Joseph in the book of Genesis.
God promised Abraham that He would bless him... and through Abraham’s descendants, would bless the rest of the planet. Abraham believed God and obeyed Him -- even in some directions that would have stretched him beyond what most of us would think that we could bear -- passing down that faith to his son, Isaac. But he also seemed to pass down a faith with chips and cracks in it, that tried to hedge its bets by lying, playing favorites, pulling cons on others, etc., either out of fear or to try to personally guarantee the benefits that God had promised to give to the family by His own hand. Amazingly, that never worked well, and it always produced more pain than pleasure in the long run.
Isaac passed his faith in God -- and his con artistry, and his favoritism, and his brokenness -- to his son, Jacob. And Jacob passed all of those good and bad things on to his own sons... until Judah and Joseph finally made the decision to break the cycle and repent from the generational sins that they’d been born and raised into.
So what legacy have you been passing on in your life? We’re all broken at one point or another in our lives, but are we passing that brokenness and sin down to our church or family legacies and calling it natural? Or are we showing them a repentance and a Godliness in our lives that teaches and encourages them to grow into better examples not of what we have been, but of what we should have been?
If you’re reading this, then you still have the opportunity to affect your legacy today. What can you do today, before the sun goes down again...?