Legacy - Monday Musing, July 27, 2020
Legacy. With the recent death of Georgia Congressman John Lewis, I have been thinking about legacy. Webster’s Dictionary defines legacy as “a gift by will especially of money or other personal property; something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.”
Typically, the monetary aspect of a legacy overshadows other types of legacy, such as – love, faithfulness, and service to others. I do not know whether Congressman Lewis’ estate will ultimately leave a monetary legacy to continue the fight for justice that was his life’s work, but there is no doubt that he leaves behind a legacy of love, faithfulness, and service to the United States.
Should we think of legacy as only being applied to those who are no longer with us? While we are alive, our legacy is a mere abstraction – an idea about what we hope to leave behind. Do we consider our legacy as being a summary of who we are and how we will be remembered should we die in this very moment?
For people of faith, there is no doubt that Jesus left a legacy to those who followed him. Oh, certainly not a financial bequest, that is for sure, but rather an example to people today of how we should live our lives. Jesus leaves the legacy of forgiveness, kindness, humility, and perfect love.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we read, “The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Jesus lived and taught us not to focus on self and what we possess, but rather to serve others. Easy work? Hardly. Perhaps that is why a legacy is seen at the end of our lives, because it takes us a lifetime to achieve what God intends for us to accomplish.
What kind of legacy will you leave behind?