Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Reflecting on our Legacy

from Reverend Tricia de Beer, our Interim Priest

The last week of October I participated in Credo, an eight-day conference for clergy which is focused on creating a plan for one’s life which includes our physical, financial, spiritual and vocational directions. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the whole picture and the unique ways in which God is calling each of us.

One of the concepts we talked about was the notion of legacy. We were asked “What legacy do you want to leave behind you?” That notion of legacy often connotes extra pull in a college admission, or financial last wishes, but that is not what they meant. The question was very broad… What is it you want your life to create? If we died today, what is it we would leave behind? What love would we have invested in others in a way which would not end? What lives had we touched?

We were invited to play the movie in our mind’s eye of our legacy and to give thanks for the many contributions to another’s life we were privileged to make. It was a lovely thing to stop and see the movie and be glad.

This was not an invitation for pride. Rather, it was a way to see God at work in our lives and to feel how blessed we have been in that story.

Then we were asked to think about the model of generosity we carry with us. Who is someone who has shown you what it means to live generously? I told a story of arriving in Chicago from South Africa with an eighteen-month old and a four-year old and having $300 to our name. I was starting seminary and had a full scholarship, so that paid for our housing. John, my husband, got a job as a chaplain. But then several months went by and we kept being told “the check was in the mail”, but it wasn’t. Out of the blue, some friends who were older sent us a check for $1000, telling us that we had been on their heart, and that this money “seemed like it belonged to us”! They asked us to take it as a loan and to pass it on to someone who needed it when it was possible. We had not told them about the bind we were in, but the Spirit must have! Years later we were able to pass this gift along.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I hope you will think about the gifts you want to pass along and and the legacy you want to create. I hope you will reflect on the legacy you have created and give thanks. I hope you will think about the models of generosity which you have in your life and what they have meant to you. May the Holy Spirit draw close.

We have several special opportunities to share in this gratitude communally. This Sunday, All Saints, November 7, we will be giving thanks for those who have gone before us, sharing their gifts. On November 14, we will bring our pledges of time, talent and treasure to join in a special celebratory service, and on Sunday the 21, after the service we will have our own Harvest Dinner immediately following the service.



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