I took a vacation the last week of 2021. Well, it was a working vacation as I was hard at work on my book. I am updating and expanding our tenth minister Dr. Parker’s 1892 history of South Church. I am almost done. I finished chapter ten, which follows the pastorates of Dr. Gray and Dr. Elmore. This now brings our story up to 1991. I have only Dr. Jay Terbush and myself to go. I will definitely get it to my publisher this summer.
I mention this because as I immersed myself in research again, I was constantly amazed at the people who came before me. Names, neither I nor most readers, will find familiar. People we did not know. Yet, there they are, singing, praying, painting, cooking, serving the community, supporting missions, teaching Sunday school, leading Youth Group, the list is endless. Their joy and energy emanate off the pages of the church newsletters, bulletins, and newspaper clippings. You know they love God. They love their church. It is because of them that there is a church here today for me to pastor.
At the same time these articles brought a smile to my face, I also realized that one day all that will be left of my time here will be photos, articles, newsletters, Facebook posts, and blog entries. Church members fifty, sixty, one hundred years after I am gone, will not know me either. I will be just a face on a page. A name in a book. This led me to think about the idea of legacy. What impact would I like to leave behind? How about you? What influence of yours would you like to see continue after you have entered eternity? I found my answer in a psalm of David.
“I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power” (Psalm 145:1-4).
Yeah. For me, although we do have a beautiful building, it’s not really a building I want to leave for those who follow. More than anything, I want the next generation, those who will have no idea who I am, to hear of God’s mighty acts. How He sent His Son to save them. How He changes the hearts of everyone who believes in Him. Including, the brave thirty-one brothers and sisters-in-Christ who founded South Church three hundred and fifty-one years ago. Should that not be our goal? With our children. With our families. With our friends and coworkers. I don’t need someone to remember me. I want them to remember Him. Think about making that your legacy as well. There is nothing you could leave more valuable than that.
Remember to email your praises and petitions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We lift them up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 4:00 pm on Facebook Live.