Monday, October 15, 2012

Spiritual descendants (2 Timothy 2:8) with an idea from St. Augustine.

SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 2:8 (TM)
Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It's what you've heard from me all along.

“Two verbs have built two empires,” wrote Augustine, “the verb ‘to have’ and the verb ‘to be.’ The first is an empire of things – material possessions and power. The second is an empire of the spirit – things that last.

Have you ever thought of your spiritual inheritance? The Bible speaks often of that which gets passed down from one person to the next as testified by the long lists of begets. There is a lineage from one generation to the next and with that comes their spirit as well. Jesus was a descendant from David and that line is traced all the way back to Abraham.

Today we can speak of 6-degrees of separation. Name anyone famous and not-so-famous and by linking everyone they know to everyone you know and you are forever linked. That in some way is an inheritance. The United Methodist bishop who ordained me linked his line of ordination all the way back to John Wesley, a rich spiritual inheritance.

But a spiritual inheritance is lasting, it is about strong part of the verb ‘to be.’ It is stronger because it links us to the divine. What causes me pause today is the very thought of what I am passing on to all those I come in contact with during the course of a normal day or on Sunday or during Bible study or just in the grocery store. Something is being passed on. Is it spiritual? Is it something that is going to last? Is it a part of the endless line of splendor to the time of John Wesley, St. Paul, Jesus, David, Abraham and beyond? What am I begetting in others?

Lord, make in possible to leave a long line of spiritual children as our descendants of the faith.

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