1 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!
3 Know that the Lord is God—
he made us; we belong to him.
We are his people,
the sheep of his own pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanks;
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name!
5 Because the Lord is good,
his loyal love lasts forever;
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to worship in the Methodist church in my parents’ hometown of Lilly, Pennsylvania. This little church will forever hold a special place for me. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side, Harry Harris, helped build it. My father’s brother, Bob Monahan, served as its pastor for many years and still lives just up the street with his wife, Mary Jane. We held the funeral for my grandmother, Mildred Harris, there, and it was at that service when I first started to discern an inkling of a calling to ministry.
So last spring, when it seemed like the UMC was coming apart, I felt like I needed to go and worship there to reconnect to some of my family’s history. My Mom ran into people she recognized from her childhood who still live in Lilly. After church, we had lunch at my uncle’s and I heard stories I’d never heard before. Before we left, we visited Nana’s grave, and my Dad’s, in the Protestant cemetery on a hill overlooking town. It was a good day that helped me feel rooted and connected again.
“The Lord is good. God’s love and faithfulness last from generation to generation.” This is the promise of those who share the faith of Jesus.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When you are feeling disconnected, or like you’ve lost your way in faith, how do you reconnect to your roots? Is it maybe time to do that soon?
Prayer: Lord, we thank you that your faithfulness is from generation to generation. We thank you for our parents and grandparents who modeled the faith for us, for aunts and uncles and godparents who nurtured us in it, for pastors and Sunday School teachers who taught us its stories. Help us to remember your faithfulness to those who have gone before us and trust your goodness to those who will come after. Amen.