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  • Helen Bent

Generation to generation (04-06-21)

A Bible Reading: Psalm 145. 3 – 7

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty

and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

They tell of the power of your awesome works

and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness

and joyfully sing of your righteousness.


A Thought Our daughter, Rachel, has spent many happy hours talking to her granny (my mum) about her experiences of growing up and particularly her experiences as a student and young primary school teacher during the Second World War. Rationing, black-out, fire-watching, learning to use a stirrup pump, the celebrations of VE day have all featured. These reminiscences have been carefully recorded, so that they cannot be lost.


More recently, we have spent a lot of time with our Norfolk grandchildren since the twins arrived, and I have been reflecting on my own relationship with my grandchildren. I have thought about our experiences of life and faith during Covid and what stands out to me, wondering what stands out to Melody and Zachary at four and a half and nearly three respectively. What will they remember in the future, and what will be passed on to their grandchildren? What will they recall, if anything, of staying at home, hand washing and hand gel, social distancing, and the huge vaccine roll-out? Will there be memories of Sunday Tots on Zoom (their church) or Grandad’s church on YouTube (our churches)? Coffee and Cake after church on Zoom? Services back in the church buildings with a few singers and everyone wearing masks? And what will be memorable about the ‘new normal’ when it eventually comes?


For the Israelites, handing down stories from one generation to another was a vital part of life, particularly their life of faith. The household was an important place for learning, for worship, and for appreciating the history of God’s people. Children would have learnt about God’s faithfulness to the Israelites during their time of slavery in Egypt, God’s awesome deeds in parting the Red Sea, and his provision of food and water in the wilderness. The Bible is full of stories of God’s wonders and mighty works, especially in times of trial or peril. Church history books and Christian biographies also retell inspiring stories of God’s faithfulness and awesome deeds down through the centuries.


This sharing of experiences and stories from one generation to generation reminds us again and again of God’s faithfulness in times of challenge and difficulty. We may have experienced the exile of Covid-19 and we grieve sincerely for many lives lost to the disease, but we can also celebrate God’s goodness afresh and tell of his wonderful works.


A Prayer

Faithful God,

may we commend your works to others and tell of your mighty acts, may we speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty

and celebrate your generous goodness.

Amen.


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