I have recently flown back home to a whole new season on life after four weeks away visiting the Queen in London, listening out to the eerie sights/sounds of Stonehenge, dipping into the Mediterranean whilst piling on the kilos eating paella in Barcelona and of course, from my last piece, walking down the River Seine to the gorgeous city of Love, Paris.
I could possibly write about a million things this month and am completely inspired for my next adventure back into study but I couldn't come home without reiterating something Pastor Brian Houston (Hillsong Church) has said time again, "Honour the past, Build for the future". This could not be truer as I proceeded to walk down the Liverpool street or across Millennium Bridge in down town London.
The heart of London is filled with historic architecture, old-fashioned terraces in the borough of Kent; in the midst of some of this generation's most innovative buildings like the Shard or the oddly shaped Gherkin. The streets can go from polished upper class key-only gardens in Mayfair to the back alley pubs, bars and urban fashion outlets all in a matter of 2 stops on the tube. Similarly, the city of Barcelona is filled with Gaudi architecture, Mediterranean beaches and parks and even the church that has taken over 500years in the making and is still yet from being fully realised – La Sagrada Famila.
But why am I telling you all this….
Is it because I am a tad nostalgic? Possibly.
Is it because I love the fashion, food and overall culture of London? Most certainly.
Or is it because I have realised that more than ever, this is what Jesus wants from us.
Honour the past
Honour in the Oxford Dictionary (verb) means to regard with great respect. I have grown up in a culture that honour for elders is the norm. Whether that be where we would sit in a car or who would eat first or even just the way we'd interact. In the same way, I have also grown up in a church environment, which is quite strong on honouring the leadership and the generations that have gone before.
In Exodus 20 verse 12 (ESV) it says, "Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you". In 1 Timothy 5 verse 17 (ESV) is "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour especially those who labour in preaching and teaching". And finally, in Romans 13 verse 1 (ESV) it says, "Let every person be subject to governing authorities".
So what does it mean to honour the past? For me, as I can only say from my opinion, it is about respecting and being so grateful for what our past leaders, teachers, generations have done to date in terms of bringing the gospel around the world. Personally, I am so grateful there was an Apostle Thomas who came to India to spread the good news for my family line and that there were leaders in my life growing up that were so crucial to who I am today both personally, professionally but also as a leader.
But… not to stop there – It is our responsibility to understand that the generations before us took a chance, risks and faced challenges a lot of our generation won't ever have to (but we will have our own set for such a time as this).
Build for the Future
In 1 Chronicles 16 verse 15, it is written "He remembers his covenant forever, a promise he made, for a thousand generations" which goes onto to list the promise for Abraham and Jacob, which are still relevant to us today.
Similarly, in Psalm 102, David is praying a prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and yet says "But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations"(verse 12) and "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord".
Even whilst in despair, David wanted to build, "pioneer again" and set the groundwork for the future generations.
In much the same way, I want to be that person that doesn't just see what I do right now be for me and my future household/family, but for the future generations. Whether that be, future young adults, youth, leaders across our nation and the world. That we do what the past generations did for us, build a foundation that we can stand upon and can run from.
After all, someone once said – if the kingdom is working right, each generation will be stronger than the last and I can't wait to see what happens next, but also be a part of it.
La Sagrada Famla
Meenal Chandra is a Sydney based writer who understands a love worth giving.
Meenal Chandra's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html