Velino Shije Herrera, Story Teller, ca. 1925-1935, gouache and pencil on paperboard, sheet: 10 x 15 in. (25.6 x 38.2 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum
Psalm 145:1-4, 8-13
How do we communicate our experiences of faith in God in ways that offer the blessing of the hope to those we love?
My grandparents, great-grandparents and old aunties were deeply religious. They talked about God and referred to their favourite Bible passages all the time. My aunt passed on our paternal Grandma’s favourite hymns and bible verses to us children — for example, “as your days, so is your strength” (Deut. 33.25b). She regaled us with the family stories of hardship and heartbreak, faith and success. Grandma Sina came to Canada from Scotland in 1911 with two babes still in diapers, joining her husband in Prince George. In daily prayers, she called for strength and courage to meet the great challenges of this journey and throughout her new life. These relatives passed down their memories of a living faith, of a firm belief in the love and majesty of God.
Psalm 145’s burst of praise and its proclamation of God’s greatness and goodness, describes how generations, one after another, have passed on their life experiences of these truths. As with our own ancestors, our own faith and hope is nourished by holding the stories of generations past, listening to others’ stories now and sharing our own as we experience living in God’s love and grace (vs. 11).
May the Holy Spirit guide us in wisdom and memory. Amen.