Skip to main content

Preach the gospel, die and be forgotten

A lot was said about legacy in 2012. Especially, the Olympic Legacy. A call to inspire a generation. Time will tell whether more athletes follow, health improves and the Olympic park stands tall. Given every football tournament failure leads for an overhaul of youth development it's easy to be a bit cynical. People chase celebrity, fifteen minutes of fame...

Equally, there are people who have lasting legacy and impact on our lives...

What about the Christian? What's our legacy? What's the right legacy for a CU leader to pursue from their year of serving the CU? I saw this yesterdya:
Ironically, Zinzendorf is well remembered. I think the actual quote from Count Nicholas Zinzendorf - the original 24/7 prayer leader... missionary movement leader... influential in the lives of the Wesley's:
 "The missionary... must be content to suffer, to die and be forgotten."    ---John Wesley, Journal (London: Robert Culley, n.d.), Vol. II, p. 11.)
Which given a missionary is a gospel preacher is basically the same thing. The Christian should be content to suffer, die and be forgotten.

It's Ecclesiastes 1, we're quickly forgotten. The student work has a blissfully short memory. It's common for a CU to say "This is the biggest thing our CU has ever done..." -- and it kind of is, except that that happened four years ago but no-one is left to remember. Which is fine! Student workers don't tend to stay in the work for long - I met another 12-year student worker yesterday which is rare.

We seek to impact lives, we impact structures and strategy, and for a while our fingerprints are identifiable... Some things do last though few movements and churches thrive for multiple generations.Before long there's no one there anymore who knows how things were before. Our hard labours become just smudges on the window... unseen foundations.

The short memory is liberating.

There are no monuments and landmarks and celebrities in the new creation, and there ought not to be such here. Yet we're (read, I'm) easily starstruck. There are big fish in our small pond over whom we fawn, whose words we re-tweet and podcast.

I've seen students go wobbly kneed at a CU weekend away (where I was speaking) when they heard that a certain speaker had been there with another CU the previous weekend... Take off your shoes, this is holy ground.. ?!

Real gospel legacy is Christ's life-giving reign over all things...
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever. (Psalm 45:17 ESV)
A verse about me? No, the Father says this of the Son. And I share in his life by my union with him. His name is remembered, and he remembers me.

Real legacy is the fruit of the gospel in people - people who become followers of Christ, people who grow as disciples of Christ. The legacy of ministry I did 12 years ago is sat in an office and a school and a mums and toddler group this morning.

Legacy is the teenager who becomes a Christian and is still sharing the gospel with people when he's 82 years old.  Real legacy is the student who becomes a Christian, marries a Christian, works as a Christian in a job, raises their kids in the sound of the gospel and a gospel adorning family home, whose kids grow up in the faith. And many other untold stories.

And then we're forgotten.

Comments

  1. I'm a SU and UCCF legacy from many years ago. God is good and his love just keeps on. Thank you for your work helping another generation. And another. And ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz - that's wonderful to hear. Love to hear more of how the story has gone for you.

      Delete
  2. Thanks. I really needed to hear this today, especially.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…