Thinking of my Links

“We will not hide them from their children, we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Psalm 78:4
“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’” Revelation 14:13

I recently learned an interesting story from my family's history. It's a story of a link in my spiritual chain. It's about a little boy who invited his neighbor to Sunday school. We've all heard stories like that before, but this one really impacted me. I can't stop thinking about it, because that Sunday school guest continued in his faith, grew up, and raised a Christian family. And one of his sons is my father. The little boy who invited my grandpa to Sunday school turned out to be a link in the chain of people who made sure the saving Gospel made it to my heart.

I tried my own little version of being a spiritual link to someone when I was 4. I took my neighbor, Nicky, into my garage, sat on her, and told her she wasn't leaving until she heard me sing Jesus Loves Me. (Nicky may well be receiving counseling for that incident to this day, but I like to think maybe it's through Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services.)  :)  Unfortunately, my adult version of it is that I am sometimes too busy or distracted to look for those around me who need a link to the Gospel. Or worse yet, I am sometimes too nervous to find a way to direct the conversation to our Savior. God forgive me for my failure to attempt to be a link and my failed attempts to be a link!

I still think about my Grandpa's little neighbor boy. He would be almost 100 years old now. I wonder what happened with him. I wonder if he is still alive. I wonder what other great things he did in his time of grace here on earth. And even if there was nothing else to speak of, his life had indescribable and eternal value to me.

There's no “” to help you trace the roots of your spiritual family. I hope there's an app for that in heaven, though, because I have a few things I want to say to that “little boy.”  

I want to tell him, “Thank you for sitting next to my Grandpa in Sunday school. It was a link to the day when I was 12 days old and I crossed from death to life in the waters of baptism.”

I want to look into his eyes and say, “Thank you for showing Grandpa where the crackers and juice were on that day. That day is a link to every time my weary soul is nourished with the precious body and blood of our common Savior.”

I would like to take his hand in mine and say, “Thank you for holding Grandpa's little hand going up those church steps on that first day of Sunday school. It linked me to a family that holds my soul in their hearts and my walk of faith in their prayers.”

I want to tell him, “I don't know you, but I promise to see you in the eyes of all the Sunday school students who will sit before me this week.” I wish I could wrap my arms around him and say, “Thank you for being a link in the only chain that matters. Thank you for linking me to the saving Gospel of Jesus.”

I invite you to take a look back at the links in your spiritual chain. Faith reminds you to hold on to your Savior as the one true treasure you possess. And love compels you to be a link to others, through personal witness, prayers for your pastor, and offerings in support of mission work.

Jennifer Otto