Not Just On Children

by Vin Knight

Crown of ThornsThe readings for today all focus on God’s covenant with Abraham that he will be “the ancestor of a multitude of nations.” God also promised to Abraham the land of Canaan “for a perpetual holding.” Both of these components of the covenant bring to mind the idea of legacy and, implicit in that, responsibility. What do we owe the generation that follows us — and the one after that and the one after that? Clean air, pure water and above all peace would seem to be the least we can leave behind us, and yet a scientific fact like climate change continues to be denied by elected officials who should — and no doubt do — know better, while extremists of all kinds still wage violent conflict all over the world. It is not only the condition of the world we leave those who follow us, it is also what we teach them by our example that matters so much. As often happens, I am reminded of a moment in the theater that moved me very much — the lines of a Stephen Sondheim song:

Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Genesis 17:1-8
Psalm 105:4-11
John 8:51-59