Acts, #63. Acts 18.
For how many years I have been fascinated with obituaries, I cannot tell you, but I will admit that I have read entire books about them. You see, well-written obituaries are snapshots of entire lives--including back stories, people loved, dreams fulfilled and meaningful achievements. They also give us an idea about the legacy of individuals.
The greatest legacy - the thing left behind - is the one that positively impacts others, especially encouraging them toward a life of great faith. How I love the free conversations to be had in the airport whilst traveling! (‘Free’ because we will never see the person again!) On Friday, I had a great talk with Patrick from Kansas City - a back and forth about how the Christian faith is not synonymous with the ‘Church’, or certainly shouldn’t be. We may grow up thinking that is the case, but as we embrace faith for ourselves, we realize that our relationship with God is different than the one we have with any religious institution--if it is not, we are easily coerced or discouraged. Maybe worse is that we put our relationship with God on the back burner or completely in our rearview mirror because of the ‘Church’, missing out on the meaningful, individual, life-giving relationship we can enjoy in Jesus. The ‘Church’ is not God, my friend.
And now I take you back to where we left our leader and guide, Paul of Tarsus, on his expedition to spread the Gospel, the lifesaving message of Jesus. He leaves Athens behind and travels about 50 miles to Corinth, where he meets fellow tentmakers Priscilla and Aquilla--probably in the synagogue as the Jews often sat in sections according to trade. The passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+18.1-11&version=NLT
Perhaps you’ve never thought of it, but even cities leave behind legacies - imprints that positively or negatively impact the people and culture sometimes far into the future. In Paul’s day, Corinth is the home of the Temple of Aphrodite, goddess of love and 1000 temple prostitutes, rampant homosexuality and the place where anything goes. 'Think Paul had a tough crowd to try to reach with the gospel? No doubt.
But what strikes me about Corinth is that we do not remember her because she was a center of political and commercial activity in Greece, though she was… no, the legacy of Corinth surrounds how immoral she was. Which made me think of the legacy of other places, and people too. . .
Which made me think of my legacy. . . what will it be?
Which makes me think of your legacy. . . what will others say about you when you are gone? What will you leave behind? What an opportunity we have to leave footprints of love, of courage, of generosity, great faith, hope, unfathomable trust in God, great love and knowledge of the Word of God… why, the possibilities are quite endless really!
'Couldn't help but think of the old song "legacy" by Nichole Nordeman
"I want to leave a legacy How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy. . . Legacy song, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0M8laLgKMk&list=RDN0M8laLgKMk&index=1
Life is so incredibly short, as the Word says: "You are just a vapor that is here for a little while and then vanishes away." James 4.14 So why not take a moment and reflect on your legacy? After all, you are writing yours every day, you know. . . what things would someone who knows you well say about you? More importantly, what will God himself behold of your legacy?
This take on Corinth may seem random, but as I looked at this passage, I just thought we might learn most today from looking at the folly of the citizenry of Corinth, which became its legacy. Hmmm. . .
What will be your legacy?
Grace and peace,