Leave (Wednesday, April 17th)

Cross image for Lent Aaron Burden Unsplash

Wednesday, April 17th

Leave:  to have remaining after one’s death; to cause to remain as a trace or aftereffect

John 14:27 (NRSV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 

How I hate to see loved ones leave after a special family gathering! With our children scattered all over the country,  I know it will be a long while until we are back together again. Yet, I am so richly blessed by all that remains forever in my heart… the laughter, the gentle teasing, the memory sharing, the caring and thoughtful listening, and even the heated discussions. Love has come, and love is what has been left behind.

Jesus will soon be leaving, and in his final days he tries to prepare his disciples with beautiful words of instruction and assurance. In John’s gospel narrative, Jesus predicts what will happen, offers words of comfort, promises the Holy Spirit, warns them of future trouble, and then assures them that their grief will turn to joy.  Jesus also tells the disciples that he does not give as the world gives, and so in these parting words he tells his friends that he is leaving his peace with them. There is no talk of wills or trust funds or beneficiaries. He is leaving something so much better- his peace and his Spirit.

What will we leave behind as our legacy? Will the world (our little corner of it) be better off for having us in it? What would Jesus have us leave for others, by not giving as the world gives?

We do hope to bless our loved ones with financial gifts and other treasures when our will is read. But even more, we want to leave them spiritual treasures they can hold in their hearts forever. The little blessings can add up to one big difference in someone’s life. I enjoyed getting a little creative making an alphabetical list of some gift ideas we might leave for others…

Acts of kindness
Bits of tenderness
Collections of memories
Dreams of futures
Extensions of grace
Feasts of celebration
Giggles of laughter
Hugs of forgiveness
Instances of charity
Journeys of adventure
Kisses of healing
Labors of love
Moments of joy
Nights of stargazing
Opportunities of improvement
Pauses of silence
Quips of wisdom
Rituals of comfort
Stories of faith
Times of understanding
Umbrellas of protection
Visions of hope
Words of encouragement
Xtras of generosity
Yards of playtime
Zones of sanctuary

What gifts might you like to leave as your legacy?

Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.  (Peter Strople)

 

 

All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/

Cross photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Leave (Wednesday, April 17th)

  1. My memories of all our family gatherings are treasures now! When we moved to Prineville we had week ends, and many times, weeks, with one and sometimes two families and it was amazing! We let out a sigh at the end of a great time and looked forward to another one! The past years back here, the events have been in the children’s homes and l am the one that leaves! Easter is a brunch at my daughter’s after church! I am so thankful for families and friends, those still here and many who have already left! One day we will never have to leave them! We will be together with Jesus❣️ Loved your creative list of gifts to leave others❣️🤗

    Like

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