15 April 2015
Reading: Acts 13; Psalm 88
…After David had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried with his ancestors, and his body decayed. (Acts 13:36 NLT)
I love Paul’s summary of Israel’s history given in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia. Similar in some ways to Peter’s history on the Day of Pentecost and Stephen’s message before the Jewish council, it sweeps over centuries and generations and shows everything leading to and fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Today, the verse that captured my attention is the statement that David served his generation according to the will of God, then died and was buried, and his body decayed. (I turned seventy-two five days ago and I can attest that it’s possible for the body to begin deteriorating some time before one’s death! But I digress…)
David served his generation according to the will of God. In some very real and practical ways, that’s not as easy as it used to be! Our culture has largely lost the benefit of the extended family and built-in respect for age and wisdom. Generations, which once adopted a new view of reality every forty years, then every twenty-five years, now do it within a decade or less. Change is with us and the rate of change is increasing every day!
I purpose to serve my generation according to the will of God – God’s specific assignment for me while I live on earth. In order to do that I must:
• Relate to the generations before me with honor and respect and learn from their wisdom and experience. I don’t have time to make all the mistakes myself!
• Relate well to my own generation and not live an artificially-isolated life inside the bubble of my religious system. I can’t influence if I don’t engage!
• Relate well to the generations following me through listening, learning, staying relevant, and making myself available to influence their values, decisions, and actions. I can offer. I can’t insist.
• Friends, May God give you and me something worthwhile to say and may he provide the wisdom to say it well and clearly!
Father, I’d like for someone someday to be able to honestly say of me, “Jim served his generation according to the will of God. May he rest in peace.” And I hope one day to hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Amen.