To my thirteen-year-old mind having a facsimile of the Magna Carta or the signed confession of Guy Fawkes was the coolest thing out. Somewhere in the world in a museum, was the original, but I had an exact photographic copy of it. I still have them; I still think they are cool.
We make copies of important things, things that matter. Either we are trying to emulate a great bit of craftsmanship, or we desire to replicate something great to share copying, emulating is a big part of each of our lives.
Who taught you to tie your shoes? Who taught you to bake, garden, drive, play cards, fish? Often, we each have traits made up of a whole load of influences.
If someone was to watch you for a while, your interactions with others, the way you handle situations and stresses, your routines, and the time you spend with the Lord, would they know from your life how to follow Jesus?
Now, as a parent, I’m inevitably going to find out the answer to that question one day as to whether I have passed on my love for Jesus to my kids, not by what I have said, but more than likely from what they see me do.
Our attitudes, our decisions and whether we prioritise meeting with other Christians is something only we can pass onto those coming behind. You might be out of the having kids season and be empty nesters, or enjoying grand kids, but there is still scope in your life to pass on to those coming behind you your faith and love for Jesus and what you have learned.
The apostle Paul’s letter to the friends and Jesus followers at the Corinthian church encouraging them by saying:
16 Therefore I urge you, be imitators of me. 1 Cor 4:16
Why? Imitators of Paul?
Yes, Paul would say, imitate me as I imitate Jesus our Lord. I’m living it out in front of you, just as one day, you will live it out in front of others.
As disciples of Jesus, we are living out what we learn, what we see of Jesus in those around us. This is how we pass on our heritage of faith.
There’s a good chance that you understand faith built largely on what you have learnt by either doing or seeing other Christians doing.
Passing onto the next generation our faith isn’t just teaching them the Bible. Knowledge is largely useless if it’s not complimented by action. There are many learned scholars of the Bible that have never had a personal encounter with the subject material that could have changed their lives. There are also those who know little of God’s word yet put even the smallest part into action.
Learning to serve, knowing that serving is beneficial is something we can tell someone, but will only be fully realised when that person engages in the act of service.
Our kids will learn to love church when we make it a priority and express our desire and love for His idea of gathering His people.
Paul was able to say ‘Do what you see me doing’ as he set an example. It’s something worth striving for, something that you can leave as a legacy to those coming on behind you. It’s not about being the ‘best Christian’, it’s about being authentically you and showing through your life that there is a God who loves you and you showing you love Him by what you do, that’s infectious, that’s worth copying.