I am the Living Legacy of My Fathers in the Faith

Two of my old seminary professors are sick; quite sick, apparently. I am thinking of their influence in my life. I first learned to read from the original New Testament text from one of them. I first learned to think about the depth of the knowledge and love and the revealed interior life of the Triune God from the other. Even more, I learned how to be a pastor from both of them. They were not practical theology professors, but in their illustrations and applications in their respective lectures, they invariably related their subjects to their experiences in the pastorate. When I was ordained as an evangelist in the Heartland Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America, they were both there to lay hands upon me. So today I am thinking of Drs. George W. Knight III and Robert L. Reymond, Sr. May they both know the healing of Christ in this season of life. May they know that their labors are not in vain, for they have multiplied ministry to the degree that many others through me have come to know the Christ whom they taught and exalted. And I am only one of thousands of students, and thus hundreds of thousands of souls who have been blessed by their ministries. And that makes me think that you who read this have fathers in the faith, and mothers too as I think of my Aunt Eva, who taught you the Word. Remember them in your prayers. Honor them with your heart. And take what you have received and give it away to the world. How did the writer to the Hebrews put it?

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13.7 ESV).

The late, great singer/songwriter, Dan Fogelberg, wrote a song for his father, Lawrence Fogelberg, a high school band leader and he called it “The Leader of the Band.” In it he wrote a line that sticks in my head,

“I am the living legacy of the leader of the band.”

Well, that is the way I feel about my teachers in the faith from seminary. I think it is that way for all of us as we do what the Bible says and “remember” our leaders who spoke the Word into our lives. One day, like me, I am sure you will come to say, “I am just the living legacy of my fathers in the faith.”

About Michael A. Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D., MPA (University of Wales; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author.
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