Daily Matthew Reflection by our Assistant Program Director, Angie Smith.
In Jewish tradition the legacy you leave behind after you die is very important. No one wants to be remembered as a Grinch or a Scrooge. Your words and deeds matter. In the text Jesus says that it is not dirt hands during a meal that defile someone but the words that come out of their mouth.
Here’s a story of two great-grandmothers who left behind two very different legacies.
The first great-grandmother gladly welcomed her family into her home. There were always snacks and all the kids liked going through her stamp, button, and coupon collections. She didn’t have a lot, but she gave freely of what she had. She never locked her front door and always left food on the porch when the USPS would do their food drive. She was a gentle soul. She will always be remembered for her warm bread and extra chocolate chocolate milk.
The second great-grandmother welcomed her family into her home when she had to. There were snacks, but no one was allowed to eat them. There were no collections for the kids to play with. You sat on the plastic covered couch and spoke when spoken to, which was never. When she died pastor made up stories about her for her eulogy, he didn’t want her to be remembered as a nasty woman. To those who didn’t know her well at her funeral, the eulogy seemed appropriate. To her family, well no one remembered her donating food to charity, the did remember her complaining about the Post Office being slow in their delivery of her mail because they were to busy collecting food for people who should get jobs.
Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren tell stories about these women to their families. One is remembered as loving and the other as cruel.
What kind of legacy will we leave behind- both individually and as a congregation? Do we open our hearts and our doors, or do we wall ourselves away from others? Think back to our field of wheat and weeds, our legacies will either be wheat or they will be weeds.
It’s not too late to have a Grinch or a Scrooge life changing moment. We can turn from our selfish ways and sinful speech. We can give out of our abundance or we can hoard our abundance and judge those without. The choice is ours to make and it’s a choice that will live on long after we are gone.