Most folks are aware that July is smack dab in the middle of family reunion season. It’s the hot month (no pun intended) for my family’s reunions.
This past July we attended my wife’s reunion, on her father’s side, in Indianapolis and my family reunion, on my mother’s side, in Conway, Arkansas. Yes, it was blazing down there. I’m talking about 96 degrees in the shade, folks.
One of the joys of attending my family reunion is listening to the reading of my family’s history. Even after hearing it numerous times, I’m continually fascinated by the story. Our family historian recounts for us the “early years” of the Bunting family. My great grandfather, Abraham Bunting, was a slave in Tennessee; he was the illegitimate child of his master. Upon gaining his freedom, he moved with his first wife, Sarah, and children to Conway by way of covered wagon. His first wife died, and he married my Great grandmother, Emma. From this union my grandfather, Early Cleveland Bunting, was born. He and my Grandmother Della Bunting had nine children of which my mother Eddie Faye (Bunting) Love was the youngest.
My great grandfather was an important man in a small community called Caney Creek. He was responsible for taking the census, and he was a farmer with many acres of land. However, the most important piece of information regarding my great grandfather’s history is the fact that he was a preacher of the gospel and a church planter. Upon moving to Caney Creek, he soon discovered there was no church in the community. So he planted one. The renovated little church building still stands after these many years. So in my mind, “Papa” left a legacy of faith to his family.
At the reunion, I was called to address my family and share the gospel. In doing so I remembered a portion of Psalm 78:2–4:
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. 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.
As I shared this, I could not help but wonder if I have, or am intentionally, passing on the faith to my offspring. Even as I type this post, my youngest 11-month-old grandchild is on my lap bobbing his head to Shai Linne’s music.
I wonder if I am as rigorous in applying these verses as I could be. One of the greatest mandates given to mankind is the responsibility to tell the coming generation of the Lord’s glorious deeds, might, and the wonders that he has done.
Have you also wondered about this awesome responsibility? Are you intentionally passing it on to the next generation in your family? Or are you simply letting the chips fall where they may? Have you ever thought about what would be the best and most productive way of going about this task?
Perhaps together we can discover (or some reading this may re-discover) the joys of telling the next generation of God’s glorious deeds.
I have an old tried and true way of passing the faith to our offspring. We’ll talk more about it next time we’re together on The Front Porch.
This is part two in a series on family worship. See part one: “How’s the Family Doin’?“