The transition of a loved one to heaven can be hard. The sorrow, the grief, and the pain sometimes can be unbearable. But the celebration of the life of that person and all that they have given you throughout your life is immeasurable. I’ve recently had to celebrate the life of a dear person in my life, my godmother. The joy and the happiness and the contentment that everybody had for her is truly amazing.
This is a testament to her legacy. She was kind, loving, and always giving. The words and the actions that she bestowed upon me throughout my life will always be remembered. I can still hear her voice giving me advice and giving me love.
In today’s readings, Solomon and Paul are giving words of wisdom to the next generation. They are given their legacy. The words that they’re giving are from their own experiences and from their own mentor’s words to them.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
“Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.”
“My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.”
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
In the passages from Solomon, at the beginning of each chapter, he is instructing his sons and his descendants, how to live a good life. He has shown them how to live a good life, but he’s also giving them instructions on how to live the life after he has transitioned to heaven and has given them the wisdom. Many times we are given words and insights into what we supposed to do, but sometimes we need the instructions to be written out.
In Romans, Paul is asking the question of the people of Israel and the Christians if they have understood what they have been given to by word of mouth and written word. He is also asking them if they are working with the gifts that they have been given.
Many times in our lives we are given instruction, both verbally and written. It is in the nature in which we use the instructions and wisdom that will produce good fruit. I have been granted many mentors throughout my life that have imparted wisdom to me. I have received many words of wisdom from my mother, my father, my uncles, and my aunts. I have listened to their words, but sometimes I have done my own things. But the things that I’ve done have not been without understanding their wisdom. Sometimes we do things that are aligned with wisdom, and sometimes we do things that are counter to the wisdom. But in the end, we will all receive wisdom. Then it’s our responsibility to relay this wisdom onto the next generation.
Legacy is not all about the words that you use, but the actions that match the words that have been given to you throughout your life. Legacy is also the reflection of your total person and how it will be manifested in others. Legacy is a shadow of all of our attributes that we have together.
So what is the legacy that we are giving to the next generation? What is the direction or legacy that we are being examples of? If we give instruction with God’s grace and God‘s wisdom and gods mercy, then the legacy that we will give will be for God‘s glory.