Before the father handed over the keys to the factory, so to speak, he walked with the son around the place, and showed him the inventory. He laid out the plans on the worktable, and gave him all the tools he needed to make the thing run as smoothly as possible. Then, with a quiet pause, he spoke clearly and plainly about a vision he had in mind. It was a good vision; a really good vision. The son listened with great intent.
With his father’s blessing, the son rolled up his sleeves and immediately got to work. The first thing he did was to take all the pieces, big and small, even the little tiny microscopic ones, and began to organize and categorize them by size, shape, and usefulness. It didn’t take the son long to discover that he was in way over his head. There was just too much to do. By his own calculations it would take years, if not a lifetime, just to find the purpose and reason for existing in the first place.
Exhausted from another hard day at work, the son called his father for help. The father listened to his plea and responded accordingly. The following morning, opportunity would knock. The father had sent a partner to help his son, and the two quickly went to work. As this idea slowly evolved and gained momentum, so too did they. Time passed and the Inheritance kept growing and morphing into something truly spectacular. Over time, the responsibility was handed over to the next generation of sons and daughters. And then to the next, and the next.
With each new generation, this thing grew and grew and grew. And you might think this was a good thing, but it wasn’t. You see, the bigger the families got, the less connected they became with each other. Pretty soon, they were less willing to work together, less willing to share their ideas and inventory. Competition between cousins and siblings grew fierce. The more they sought to streamline the Inheritance, the more they fought over whose way was better. It didn’t take long for the father’s original vision to be nothing more than a fading memory.
Then one day a child was born; a special child. He was a great distant grandson of the Father. Because the family had become so dysfunctional and bitterly divided, his birth was barely noticed. But as he grew older, many began to see how much this guy was like the one whose original idea started this big ball rolling.
Yes, he was different all right. Out of all the members in this family, he seemed to be the only who understood this idea’s original intent and purpose. He realized its power and potential. And often used it to do many good things.
It was like the Inheritance was his purpose, his reason for being. It was all he talked about. At school, around the kitchen table, in the fields and markets, or while he was sailing and fishing he’d shared the good news with anyone who would listen. And listen they did.
Many in the family thought this man was a great threat. But others put their faith in him, believing he was the one who could take this idea well into the future. With this guy at the helm, the father’s original vision began to shine brightly once again.
People from all over began to gather around him; wanting to be a part of the inheritance. And so the great, distant grandson did something completely radical. Something so outrageous it would cause a riff between his families of historic proportions. What did he do you might ask? He took the idea public. He gave it an IPO; offered a stake in its equity for anyone who wanted it.
The market reacted wildly. Stock in the inheritance began to surge. The people couldn’t get enough of it – even though there was plenty for everyone. With this one basic action the world was forever changed. He had made his mark on the history books. His name would never be forgotten.
But this guy who revolutionized the Inheritance had board members, elders in the family, who felt like they were losing their controlling stake. They had the votes to remove him, which they eventually did, but they quickly realized they could not undo what he had already done. Too many people had seen the light. Too many people were vested in its future. The inheritance was now too big to be controlled by any one family. Instead it moved freely everywhere and anywhere it wished to go.
Thank to this one man, the Inheritance lives, breathes, and moves today by the same Spirit in which it was first created. The father’s vision has been fully realized. Now it’s up to us to keep it going. That is our purpose and reason for being human. You see we are all vested owners of this crazy but brilliant thing called life. We’ve been entrusted to evolve it, to nurture it and to grow it, and to share it freely and abundantly wherever we go.
To ensure this idea would go as planned, God made us in his image so we might have all that we need to thrive in a relationship with him and flourish with one another. Through God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we have become heirs of eternal life. But it’s in this life that our job is to pick-up where he left off, and to ensure that future generations have something to inherit.
Like I said last week, God is calling you and me to be his eyes, and ears, and heart, and hands, and voice in the world so that every life will flourish. And I can never say this enough, but if we are to call ourselves Christians, then we must answer the call to be like Christ, and to bear Christ’s likeness in all that we do. In our art, in our music, and in our words let us radiate true life in Christ. With every person we meet and every relationship we have, let us answer the call to show Christ’s love and mercy.
In the mundane day-to-day tasks of life we all have a purpose and a reason for being. We are image bearers of the highest calling. And there’s no escaping this responsibility. Life is no spectator sport; it’s a vocation. It’s a call from God, who dwells within each one of us, to live up to our purpose. And it’s a call we all must answer.
After all, what happens in God’s world is, and always has been, our business too.
Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your creation and to bear you image upon our hearts. Send us now out into the world to truly live in peace and harmony with one another, in the blessed name of the One who showed us the Way. Amen.
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has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
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