Legacy (Part 4)

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38 ESV).

Our second principle to leave as a legacy to our children is to recognize the world’s needs and respond with compassion and action. Our reading today sees Jesus doing just that with His disciples. As parents we should intentionally seek to leave a legacy by being committed to doing something about our world. Many Christians today are walking in the middle of the road; they’re so focused on what other people think that they are unwilling to take any risks in order to make an impact for Christ. Jamie Buckingham wrote, “The problem with Christians today is that no one wants to kill them anymore.” There are some places where this is not true. We have seen that vividly reported; however, the point is that the community of faith has become both tolerant and tolerated.

I must be clear. I am not referencing the intolerance so associated with the bigotry and ignorant bluster of some today who claim to be people of faith. Jesus saw no color; he never separated the classes along economic or social lines. Nor can we do that. Compassion and mercy demand that we see beyond those things. The angry rhetoric and violent outbursts that are so common in our world today should have no place in the Christian’s life. If you have known me for any length of time, you have also known of my conservatism. I am orthodox in my theology and socially conservative in my politics. However, I am also completely committed to follow the example of Christ. It should not be a surprise that I have read and admired John F. Kennedy. In the book, Profiles in Courage, he wrote:

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties – someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

That is a legacy to leave your children. I must not be remembered as a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or any other political party affiliation; I must be remembered as a follower of Jesus Christ.  Again, a quote from JFK: “Some men show courage throughout the whole of their lives. Others sail with the wind until the decisive moment when their conscience and events propel them into the center of the storm.” If you want to leave a lasting legacy, you need to act with courage to reach out to those in need. That’s a legacy worth leaving!