I buried my Dad on March 28 and I find myself preaching another funeral a week later. I’m surrounded by the things of death. There is much to deal with when someone dies. First of all there is the grief that I will not address here, but that is huge. You also have to deal with the person’s body, you have to deal with their possessions, not to mention a host of administrative details that have to be attended to; there are people to call, subscriptions to cancel, and the list goes on. Over the past several weeks these things have consumed my attention and as I’ve thought about what I should write for this issue of the Tapestry, I thought what more fitting issue could I focus on but inheritance.
Some of us know beforehand what we will inherit. Some of us don’t know until a will is read. When we talk about inheritance we have a tendency to speak in terms of the material. Certainly if you do a study of inheritance in the Bible you will find it is a major theme and much of the focus is on material possessions; particularly of the land. However there is another aspect of inheritance that is most important biblically, every other aspect of inheritance is ultimately meaningless apart from this one aspect and that is a spiritual inheritance. A spiritual inheritance is not something that is bequeathed in a will. It is given in a life lived unto the Lord and passed on to future generations. By God’s grace I’m fortunate to have received a spiritual inheritance from my parents. As we think about a spiritual inheritance we must remember that we are only a generation away from apostasy. If we do not pass on a spiritual inheritance to the next generation, who will?
At funerals and times of death we tend to look back and remember lives lived. We share stories and anecdotes. People come and share their memories of loved ones. It is a precious time and it is to be savored and experienced to the full, but we cannot stay in that place. Some may try, but it is not healthy, is not how we are designed. We need to remember so that we can move forward. We do not live in the past; we live in the now and we look forward to the future. We cannot serve the kingdom of God in the past; we serve the kingdom by living in it now and preparing to live in it in the future. That kingdom life is following Jesus. That is the inheritance that is most important. Is that the inheritance that you are seeking to pass on to your children? Is that the inheritance that you are seeking to pass on to those in your spheres of influence; your family and friends? The beauty of a spiritual inheritance is that it can be passed from a child to a parent as we share the love of Jesus. What inheritance will you leave? My prayer is that I will leave a rich inheritance to my children and to anyone else I, by God’s grace, am able to share the love of Christ with. Ponder these things with me.