He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. – Psalms 78:5-8 (NRSV)
Information is almost too available to us. Stories are made, ingested and forgotten like cheap candy. TV shows come and go and few stand the test of time. Books are written with a movie in mind and movies are made with product sales in mind and somewhere in there a good story died. We are slowly losing the rich and powerful gift of storytelling.
Asaph was concerned about this same issue in his own day. He saw a weakness in mankind that we are quick to forget what we do not hear repeated again and again. His exhortation to tell the story of God and His people is the cure for hereditary disobedience. If we are tied to the rich heritage of all that God has done through history, we are more likely to remember His promises walking through a broken world.
Today we have a lot of distractions to take our eyes and minds of the story we are living with God. Our children are growing up in an instant information world with technology specifically designed to occupy their time with crushing candy or flinging birds at pigs. It is easy to live life on short term memory and forget the heritage that ties us all together from Adam’s first breath to the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We need to tell our children the story of God; stories of His love and grace and mercy and power and compassion. Stories of his people overcoming the brokenness of the world with the wholeness of His Spirit within us. Stories of His unending patience with our unending stubbornness. Stories of His everlasting love for a world gone astray. These are stories to tell again and again and again so they will recognize when they are living the story themselves.
Lord, help me to share your story with my children so that they might follow you all the days of their lives. Amen.