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The Next Generation

My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalm 78 1-4

Jayne and I have richly discovered how St. Andrew’s UMC honors Pastor Appreciation Month. We have been overwhelming inundated with gifts, notes, and cards of appreciation. We are truly grateful for each and every one of them. As we are truly grateful for each and every one of you in this community of St. Andrew’s in Brandon. So, as Pastor Appreciation Month is honored, we feel compelled to turn the wording around to affirm that we, the pastors, appreciate all of you, as well.

This community embodies the core of what a church is all about. It has a heart and a mission for Christ into the world. And that is not an easy task in this age. It is an understatement to say that the world has changed. And not just since the pandemic.

I was reading an article that said for the first time in history, we have six distinctly different generations living together in the world—the greatest generation, baby boomers, millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z. It’s because we are living longer that we can mix six generations living together at the same time. We have this great opportunity for relating inter-generationally.

This article also stated that Gen Y is the first generation of children that don’t need adults for information. Thank you, Google! They can get every piece of information in existence and get it online. Yet the world does not need more information, but the understanding of information.

The world needs to know what is truly important and transforming—things like forgiveness, grace, mercy, relationships, and purpose in life. It needs to know what it means to be generous, caring, loving, and compassionate; what it means to be a servant in our society; how to seek justice and care for the poor. This is where the church is responsible—because the church is the bearer of this message and recognizes and proclaims that its source is God through His son Jesus Christ. The local church is the hope of the world. If you think about it, it is a powerful responsibility for St. Andrew’s. Yet this is a church that has shown that it has a heart for the mission.

Psalm 78:4 proclaims, “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, HIS power, and the wonders he has done.” We are called to teach the next generation, and generations to come, how great God is and how great is His love for us—something we cannot discover by Googling it. The article summed it up well when it says that we should not leave the next generation with a higher standard of living, but a higher standard for living. It is a task that St. Andrew’s is more than ready to undertake.


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