Be Still Know
Psalm 78.2-4 NLT
“I will teach you hidden lessons from our past — stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.”
In a speech in the House of Commons in 1948, Winston Churchill paraphrased Santayana when he said “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” This was precisely the concern of Asaph in this particular psalm. In this long psalm he reflected on five centuries of the life of the people of God. Time and again they had disobeyed God, but he had consistently responded with love and forgiveness. Asaph was concerned that future generations should be reminded of their history, and of the gracious way in which God had provided for his people.
Teaching the next generation about God always needs to be a priority for the church. I often find that the approach to children’s and youth work is incredibly patronising. I hear people say, “They are the church of tomorrow” but that precisely misses the point. Children and young people are an integral part of the church of today, and we will have no future unless we are energetically and enthusiastically reaching out to them with the Good News of Jesus.
Passing on the faith to younger generations is always a challenge because the world changes so fast. The ways in which we communicate have changed out of all recognition in the last few years. Twitter came into the world in 2006. Snapchat was born in 2011. TikTok arrived in 2016. Billions of messages are sent every year on platforms that didn’t exist only a few years ago. Of course, the Good News of Jesus Christ doesn’t change. But the way in which we communicate needs to be continually changing and we need to ensure that the resources are available to ensure that it happens. If we fail to do so then the danger is that the sad history of people’s disobedience to God will repeat itself.
QUESTION: What are you doing to ensure that younger generations are hearing the Good News of Jesus?
PRAYER: Lord God, we praise you for your faithfulness through thousands of years. Help us to be faithful in passing on this wonderful message to others. Amen
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