I’m years behind the trend, but last year I fell in love with the musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical sensation that first swept through the nation back in 2015. Telling the story of Alexander Hamilton, this musical features Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., Philippa Soo, and so many other talented artists—it’s a joy to listen to.
Recently, I was listening to the song Dear Theodosia in which Aaron Burr is singing to his newborn daughter, Theodosia, and Alexander is singing to his newborn son, Phillip. Both of these men mention how their fathers weren’t around and, because of this, they will be there for their kids. More than that, they promise that their every action to build the United States is for their children. They’re laying the foundation for their kids to build upon.
This song stopped me in my tracks because I hadn’t really thought about the words of the song before, I would just happily sing along with it. The founding fathers took care when forming certain aspects of the United States and because of their tireless efforts (and that of so many after them), I am able to live in a free nation today. I can write what I want and share it with others how I want, something that would’ve been quite different if men and women centuries ago had taken a different turn.
But, the more I thought about it, the more my heart broke for future generations. When I read the news or look around, I see very little being done to build something for those who are going to come after us. When I look at our government, our earth, our social systems, and our culture as a whole, I see problems left for my generation to try and fix. Much to my chagrin, on a large scale, I haven’t seen much done with future generations in mind.
But that’s one of the amazing things about the church—we can and are doing things to impact the next generation. And, because so many opportunities are created for cross-generational relationships, we can influence those who are coming after us. We can build healthy relationships and model for younger generations what it’s like to fully serve the Lord. We have a real opportunity to lay a foundation for others with how we live today—what an honor this is!
I believe this is a profound way that the church can set itself apart from everyone else.
While leaders in the government or business worlds might only be focusing on how to secure their own futures, we can lay down our lives for those coming after us. We can choose to leave a legacy of life, hope, and peace for those who will take up the mantle long after we’re gone. We can be like Paul and pour into a Timothy in our lives. We can choose not to just a young person because of their age, but can help them channel their passion into a life lived as an example to others. By being intentional with our speech, actions, love, and faith, we can bring others along with us as we whole-heartedly follow the Lord.
How have you been impacted by the generations that came before you?
How can you encourage someone younger than you this week?