“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done….He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children that they should set their hope in God….” (Ps.78:4,5b-7)
The motivation to pass on this faith comes from being convinced that there is Someone worth passing on ( a holy and gracious God revealed most clearly in Jesus Christ) and someone worth passing to (precious young people of the next generations– from those just born through twenty-somethings). There is also an urgency to our task, as we evangelicals are not reaching our own children of that generation, much less the vast numbers nobody’s touching.
One key to making the connections necessary to pass on the faith is our attitude towards those young people. How do we see them? What do our words and actions say about what we think of them?
I recently came across this incredibly insightful poem called “The Lost Generation” by Jonathan Reed. It can be read both forward and backwards– each revealing a different meaning. It also reverses what we might expect someone of the coming generations to say. Read it slowly… and then prayerfully answer the questions.
I am part of a lost generation
And I refuse to believe
I can change the world.
I realize this may be a shock but
‘Happiness comes from within’
Is a lie, and
‘Money will make me happy’
So in thirty years I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
Is more important than
I tell you this:
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
But this will not be true in my era.
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
Thirty years from now I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce.
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making.
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth.
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
Have you read it both ways? Now prayerfully ask these questions:
+ Which reflects your instinctive attitude and expectation of those who are teenagers through twenty-somethings?
+ How does that attitude mesh with our mission to pass the gospel to the next generation?
+ How might you need to adjust your attitude or actions to more intentionally invest in making sure that the coming generations will “set their hope in God”?