Thursday, March 17, 2016

Leprechauns, Easter eggs, and one generation away

I took our three year old grandson and 18 month old granddaughter to the public library story hour last week for a half hour of stories and songs.

Of course, being March, there was a song about St. Patrick's Day with lucky leprechauns, pots of gold and the wearing of the green -- none of which have anything to do with St. Patrick who wasn't even Irish.  

We are just one generation from the truth getting buried altogether.  I refer to my posting last year on March 16, 2015 St. Patrick and the Superheroes.  Let your children know who he really was.

Twenty five years ago, just a week or two before Easter, I was reading to one of our daughters and her friends.  Somehow, we ended up reading the story about Easter out of The Beginner's Bible.  Her little friend Grant listened with eyes wide open.  At the end, he exclaimed, "I had no idea Jesus had anything to do with Easter!"

I thought about that as I passed the other day a sign at a church announcing an Easter egg hunt between services on Easter morning.

One generation away, I reminded myself.

Over and over, Scripture repeats the urgency of teaching the next generation about  God.  "And when in time to come your son asks you, "What does this mean?" you shall say to him... (Exodus 13. 14)

What happens when truth is not intentionally taught to the next generation?  The next generation just doesn't know.

On December 26, 2004, a tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused destruction in eleven countries and the loss of a quarter of a million lives.  Tsunami waves are not unknown in that part of the world, but the last major tsunami in that region occurred on June 26, 1941.

In the past when the ground shook, children had been taught to run up into the hills -- up until this generation.  But this time, when the water pulled back, people ran to the beach instead of away from it.  There was a mere hour of time before the wave hit, destroying all buildings one-half mile from the shore.  Destruction reached one mile inland.  Walking briskly, even children can cover a mile in about twenty minutes. But no one had told them to run away.

Strangely enough, on the island of Simeulue which was amazingly close to the earthquake epicenter and one of the first to be hit by the tsunami, not one of the 70,000 people on the island was killed by the waves even though 90 percent of the buildings along the coast were destroyed.  One report pointed out that these islanders had passed on traditions that stemmed from a tsunami that had hit their island in 1907 -- when the ground shakes, run into the hills.  The secret of their survival had been passed on from one generation to another.

Leprechauns and Easter eggs?   What happens when truth is not intentionally taught to the next generation?  The next generation just doesn't know.

And that teaching is up to you.

We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD,
                and His might,
and the wonders which He has wrought...
That the next generation might know them,
         the children yet unborn,
and arise 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.

                       Psalm 78. 4-7

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