A Wise Man's Legacy

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11: 18-21 (NRSV)

The good leave an inheritance to their children's children....Proverbs 13:22 (NRSV)

Fiona M. Jones is from Scotland. It was slow and tedious searching the many secondhand shops, but at last she found what she wanted: a heavy, blue children's Bible, long out of print. It was battered and missing its outer cover, but Fiona recognized every picture inside. This was a copy of the Bible that her father had read to her and her siblings when they were children. Fiona now had children of her own, and this Bible would last them many years.

Fiona's father died at the age of 71, before her sons can remember. But soon after her father died, Fiona's occasional Bible reading with her boys became a nightly routine in memory of her father's love, devotion, and faith. Fiona would read, question, listen, and explain. Then they would look at the pictures and share prayers.

Her children, now teenagers, still gather every evening for their Bible reading and discussion. As they revisit well-known narratives, they share new levels of understanding and possible interpretations; they discuss their own desires versus God's will for their lives; they apply biblical principles to their current challenges. It is a habit now, a time of shared contemplation, and a necessary part of their day. This is Fiona's father's legacy.

Prayer: Dear Lord, place your truth in our hearts through the reading of your word so that we may carry your wisdom and comfort throughout life, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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