Genesis 48:15-16a Then Jacob blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys.” (NIV)
I love the recorded blessings between inter-generational families in the Old Testament. There is something holy and sacred when people of an older generation bestow their approval and beliefs to a young and upcoming age group. It is a special gift which is the elderly’s right to give and it is a wonderful opportunity of encouraging young people with faith, hope, and love.
In our wee church, we have several special events currently taking place that epitomize such a great gift. The first involves our annual Confirmation Classes when our youth are encouraged to join the church. We teach them all about the life, ministry, and mission of our congregation and emphasize their important role in all that we seek to do for Christ. The second occurs when our Senior Highs graduate and go to college – along with their families, we constantly pray for them and hope to support them during their college years.
The third event is our annual Spring show that our Sonshine Kids present to the church and wider community. They have been practicing for almost nine months and their leaders have continually encouraged and supported them during rehearsals. Our children are blessed with the skills and support they receive from their families and church members. This is an important moment in each of their young lives, so we embrace their excitement and enthusiasm for the shows, as well as sharing prayers and faith with them throughout the whole year. It’s a blessing which will be with them for the rest of their lives.
When Jacob blessed Joseph’s children, he was passing on a promise that God had given to his own father and grandfather. He wished them well for their future and laid a foundation of faith which they also passed on to their own descendants. It was a gift of love and a great example of how God continues to give His blessings to all of us throughout the years. Perhaps today, in the same way, there is someone younger that you know who will be greatly encouraged by your faith, love, and support.
Point to ponder
Who blessed me with faith? How am I passing this gift on?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for God’s blessing throughout the centuries and across all generations. May we continue to bestow this gift to those younger people in our lives whom we value, cherish, and love. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can view the church website at this link: www.erinpresbyterian.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called ‘Pentecost2017.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Pentecost.