I’ve been thinking about how the majority of us in the West live in the most affluent time and have some of the most decadent lifestyles in history, I’ve wondered how this has become ‘normal’ and something often subconsciously we feel entitled to. I have also thought that for the most part, most of us have made no contribution to our lifestyles – we’ve inherited them.
What exactly have we inherited?
In could be said that we have inherited our Bodies . Our genes accounting for our looks and natural abilities. We have inherited the cumulative impact of other people’s Work . We have benefitted from other people’s labours, their discoveries, time saving devices, their commitment to provide for the next generation. We have inherited the impact of other people’s Sacrifice – sacrifices made in War, for political legislation, for equality or for theological ground and the sacrifice of Christ crucified. Sacrifice has a ripple effect. We have inherited Consequences – the impact of other people’s sin and restrictions on our freedom because of how people in the past have acted going back to the Garden of Eden. Sin has a ripple effect.
“To a greater or lesser extent what we inherit is not so much the material possessions of previous generations but their choices”
We inherit Faith.
Scripture, tradition and experience – they provide the reference points for much of our own journey.
The Jewish mindset was better at owning inheritance than we were. They knew what is was to ‘remember’, it helped affirm their identity and their trust in God. They owned past stories as if they happened to them - ‘Remember when God liberated us from Egypt and the great miracles he performed’. They remembered the past, whilst at the same time journeyed forward into the future
We need to ‘remember’ we are the church (past, present and future). Own and embrace the good things, learn from and where necessary ask for forgiveness for the mistakes.
We inherit Kingdom Life.
‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10) God has gifted us with life, he is the source, the instigator and fulfiller of life. Our mandate as followers of Christ is to introduce each generation to Christ. The Kingdom is the eternal landscape within which our life in Christ is lived. Romans 4:17-18 puts it this way
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
So when Jesus in Luke12:48 declares:
‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.’
What does that mean for our generation and the ‘much’ we have been given (inherited)?