"I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."
– 2 Timothy 1:5
In a world where we tend to individualize faith, these words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy are succinct but powerful. Timothy’s faith is alive and well — he’s a pastor in the early Church — but it didn’t start with him. Especially on Mother’s Day, what a gift it is to be reminded of the power of parenting.
No, not all of us who’ve come to faith in Christ have done so because of the influence of our parents. And not all of us who raise our kids “in Christian homes” will see our children choose the faith. And yet, faith in Christ by its very nature leaves a legacy. It is viral.
If you your parents didn’t model the faith for you as Timothy’s mother and grandmother did for him, someone modeled it for you. Someone showed you what it was all about, and the legacy of their faith includes you. Now, you have the opportunity to model it for others — your children, if you have them, as well as neighbors and students and so on.
The Christian faith, which began so long ago, which spread like wildfire starting on the day of Pentecost, rolled on from the apostles to people like Lois and Eunice and Timothy, and on and on. Centuries later, here we are, the latest chapter in the same story.
What is God’s chosen instrument for the persistence and pervasiveness of His Church? It’s no mystery. “You will be my witnesses,” Jesus told the disciples in Acts 1. And they did just that. Throughout the last two millennia an unbroken succession of the faithful have taken up that calling, modeling the faith and leaving a legacy. May we joyfully embrace our place in the story.
Originally posted May 8, 2011