What do we leave behind?
Our legacy, what we gift to the generation that follows us, is important to the world.
The bible is written so we might learn about how to practice what is important. How we make decisions with our time and money have implications for our living so those decisions are important. Lives can be changed, the world can be changed by how we live. Recently, one of our retired pastors from this Annual Conference died. Rev. Charles Dennis was someone I knew a little when I came into the conference back in 1984. But I came to know him much more intimately, when he was the tour organizer for the Journey’s of Paul pilgrimage my wife Linda, and I went on several years ago. I am grateful that Rev. Dennis chose to spend some of his retirement years, organizing these trips, because going to see Ephesus, Patmos, Athens and many of the places the Apostle Paul had visited in his journey’s was a life changing moment. To walk where Paul walked, to learn more about his ministry to read the scriptures in the places he refers to in his letters, all of this was inspiring.
I remember one important moment when we were by the same river in which Paul Baptized Lydia (Acts 16:11-15). We took a moment to reflect on the scripture and Rev. Dennis scoped some water from the river and poured it on my head saying, “Remember your Baptism”. I cannot really explain in words what that meant, to be connected by the ancient rite of baptism to a great company of saints, all I can say is it was a powerful moment. I will always be grateful for Rev. Dennis and his commitment to lead others in this pilgrimage, one of many he led.
I hope I make choices that help others come to know God, in the same powerful way I experience not just in Philippi, but here in Walnut. I hope by the words I speak, the actions I take the decisions I make, others will find God. I know there are moments when I fail, when I act not out of love, but out of fear and anxiety. I know there are times when I lose my cool, and focus, I know I do not live up to what God hopes I will do. Yet, I cannot give up, I feel the call to strive for making a positive difference in the world. I just hope that in my good moments others find a path to God.