Hand-Me-Downs

Hand-me-downs.  Were you the recipient or the giver?  I suppose it depended on where you came along in the family birth order. 

I am thinking a lot about a survey that made a big splash in the news this week.  Apparently, according to the Pew Research Center, the category of people who are most informed about religious matters are atheists and agnostics. 

Then, turning to the second reading from 2 Timothy for this Sunday, October 3rd, we eavesdrop on a conversation between two men doing great things for God’s people.  The writer (Paul) speaks to his friend (Timothy), encouraging his continued ministry.  As you read, you will notice that Paul does not cite the great places Timothy has been, nor the wonderful schools he attended,  nor the means of wealth by which he has found upward mobility and greater influence to speak his faith claims.  No.  Paul speaks of Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Lois and Eunice.  Women who cared enough to instill faith in this young man.  This, Paul says, is Timothy’s legacy.  This, his source of inspiration.  His grounding in life, that propels him forward in God’s kingdom.

Too many see faith as a relic, a hand-me-down, to be appreciated for a time, quickly cast aside without thought when “better” things can be attained.  Others see faith as a license to ignore knowledge of other traditions, or even license to ignore our own! 

Could we instead see faith in the way Paul sees it–as a treasure, to be guarded–and then, entrusted–one to another?

Lord Jesus, increase our faith in your saving grace, our priceless treasure.  Amen.

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