Written by Carol Beaver, Church Advocate, Legacy Coalition
A great debate rages in our Congress and across our land as I write this. It’s all based on whether we should or should not have standard time, daylight saving time, or both. The determined supporters of any one of these views strongly believe that they are correct.
It becomes a bit silly when folks say that there is more daylight if we choose one of these. When God created the heavens and the earth, He essentially created time. Man can only record it and live within its constraints.
The placement of our solar system within the universe and the position allotted to earth allowed the future inhabitants to observe celestial movements and thus time as we measure it.
The Bible talks a lot about “time”, including the first verse: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Time began when He separated the light from the darkness, formed the sun, moon, and stars, and tilted the earth just right.
Time is more than the hours and minutes on a clock or the days and months on a calendar. We also measure the passing seasons and adapt to the changes from one time to the next.
Another definition of time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future when regarded as a whole. We use phrases like when time began or at the end of time to express the broader sense of time as it passes.
God prompted a weary and perhaps disillusioned Solomon to write Ecclesiastes. Chapter 3 contains a familiar reflection on “time.” When He reflected that there is a time or a season for everything, Solomon summarized life as a series of “times.”
I encourage you to stop reading and open your Bible to Ecclesiastes 3. Ponder how many of those “times” you have experienced in some personal kind of way. We all have our times…
Our time includes beginnings and endings within humans’ experiences – birth and death, killing and healing, tearing down and building up, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, casting and gathering, gaining and losing, tearing and mending, silence and speaking, loving and hating, and war and peace.
We have experienced a lifetime of events and have stories of faith in difficult times. Stories of hope and God’s goodness enrich our memories and deserve telling. Funny stories about things we did as children make us seem more real to younger children. Admitting that we messed up and talking about how God helped us get back on track gives them hope.
As we ponder our fast-fading memories, we ought to take the time to pass on our family stories. Rich stories may be lost if someone doesn’t tell the story within the family or write it somewhere. A long-lost story may give hope or comfort.
Sharing what we know of our parents’ and grandparents’ stories provides a sense of heritage within our family and honors times in the past. It can speak loudly. My mother shared fascinating stories of my courageous grandmother, who left Denmark as a teenager and ended up in Iowa and then Minnesota, where she raised 13 children. This is a story for me to tell.
Apparently, my grandmother pioneered women standing up and being heard in the church, well at least in one little church. The Danish men who ran the church insisted that the worship and the teaching should be in Danish. Grandmother Sophie was proud to have come to America. She learned English from a professor and his family and was a capable speaker though with an accent. She wanted her child to be Americans. She thought that should start at home and in worship as well. She gathered her thoughts and prayed, then marched out the door and crossed the street to the church. Sophie asked to speak to Neil Berg, the pastor. “Pastor Berg. I have a problem with our church. We live in America now. Our children do not speak either Danish or English well. Their school talks in English and their church talks in Danish. It is not right.” The change was not quick, but gradually the services and programs for children were in English. Not everyone was happy, but it must have worked in the long run because that church is still open today – English speaking only.
Sometimes I (maybe, we) feel embarrassed to tell a story that I wish hadn’t happened. When I think that way, I want to seek God’s direction about whether it would be helpful or informative to share.
Sharing our own faith stories and anecdotes builds a connection with our children and their children. It also keeps our brains healthy and often leads to forgotten memories.
The Legacy Coalition is a ministry organization that encourages us to pass on the legacy of faith to our grandchildren. Most members are grandparents or great-grandparents. Many of us are aging faster than we like to admit. We realize we may not have a lot of time by any definition.
Our times are marked by what we do, how we live, those who surround us, those we love, whom we ignore, and who impact our lives in large and small ways. As grandparents, we pause to evaluate our times and prayerfully consider how we can still redeem the time and share our legacy with our children and their children and even their children.
Let’s not forget to use this Easter season to share stories and create specials times and memories of how we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord. How did/do you celebrate? Do you have stories? Tell them. Do you have traditional activities or foods? Explain them.
May you have a blessed Easter Season remembering the horror and necessity of the death of Jesus and the wonder and beauty of our resurrected Lord.
Editor’s Note: There is indeed a time for everything – may we use our time to share how God has been faithful through each of those times. It is said that when an old person dies a library is burned to the ground. Let’s make sure our stories are shared.