Proverbs 22:6, NIV
“Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
As I was thinking about writing today’s Seed, I received inspiration from a surprising source – the London Daily Telegraph! Tomorrow is the funeral service of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister in the twentieth century. There will be few reading this Seed of the Kingdom who haven’t heard of her. The great and famous of the nation, together with Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, will be present at St.Paul’s Cathedral for the service.
Margaret Thatcher was known as a strong leader and she had a deeply entrenched respect for the laws of God. But where did that come from? The Daily Telegraph explained how It came from her childhood upbringing. Her father, a Methodist lay-preacher would take her Sunday by Sunday to churches all over Lincolnshire, where she heard him preach from the Word of God. God’s Word became her childhood meat and drink. While studying Chemistry, and then Law, at Oxford University she herself became a Methodist lay preacher. Her sermon on “seek ye first the Kingdom of God” was described as outstanding. And she took prayer meetings “extremely seriously”.
So when the world watches the service, relayed by television to the nations, what will they hear? Famous people sometimes have the privilege of preparing the Order of Service for their own funeral. Margaret Thatcher was known for her great attention to detail, so she carefully prepared instructions for how the event should be conducted. She specifically asked that there be no political eulogy at the service, because, she said, “the sole object of worship must be God!”
And then she asked that the Prime Minister of the day should read the second lesson, carefully chosen by herself from John’s Gospel. So, in tomorrow’s funeral service, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, will read to the world from John 14:1-6, which begins with the words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God” and concludes with Jesus answering Thomas’s profound question, “how can we know the way” by saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” I will be praying that the congregation, and the nations, will be listening to what David Cameron reads.
So where did the 87-year old lady learn such wisdom? As our Scripture for the day reminds us, it came from her childhood upbringing. When she became old, she did not depart from what she learned about God from her father’s preaching, and her childhood upbringing in the heart of her local Methodist Church. What a privilege it is to impart to our children and grandchildren a knowledge of God. None of us know what fruit there will be in the generations yet to come. I pray that we will each take seriously our own personal responsibility to impact the generations yet to come with the truth that Jesus is the only way!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for those who have impacted my life with truth from the Word of God. Help me, Lord, to serve You and the generations yet to come, by sharing my knowledge of You with those who are young, so that when they are old, they will still desire to serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.