Last night we (Rebecca, Jenn, Stephen, and I) sat around the TV and watched old family videos. They were hilarious. You forget how silly old hairstyles can look. You wonder, “did I really think that was cool?” You see that your children dressed all the time in their favorite outfits and you think, “couldn’t we afford better clothes for them?” Putting the outward trappings aside it was good to see that they enjoyed being together as a family. Whether the objects of parental filmmaking or filmmakers themselves, they were having fun. Although what you capture on film can come back to haunt you, in one section I reminded Rebecca the camera was rolling as she was gently scolding one of the boys.
In one scene the boys were riding an Elephant. Rebecca asked Steve if he remembered the ride. Steve said, “I remember the video.” That has become a standard joke in our home about remember the past. If it weren’t for the visual history the stories would have been lost forever. Our culture doesn’t pass down its histories through oral stories any more. We have become dependent on film, moving and still. It would be interesting to know home many people in church today know the details of the Exodus through reading the Bible or watching the Ten Commandments. We are exhorted by the psalmist to pass down the stories of God’s love, that the generations to follow would know His deeds and place their confidence in Him.
Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter
dark sayings of old, 3
which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 4
We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. 5
For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, 6
that the generation to come might know, even
the children yet
to be born, That
they may arise and tell them
to their children, 7
that they should put their confidence in God.
I am a big fan of the silver screen, but there is something about the written word that ignites the imagination in a different way then film. I think that telling, or reading stories to our children are personal, interactive, and more compelling. Our children hear our passion as we retell the stories of God’s history of mankind. They can ask us questions and see how God’s word has changed our lives.
As a grandparent I look forward to setting my granddaughter/son on my lap and read to them stories of God’s love and grace. I want them to hear it from my lips, to know what I think about them, to understand my passion for God. I want them to know that I have put my confidence in Him and that they too can trust in his gracious providence. And in those moments of intimacy I hope one of their parents takes video, so when I am no longer on this earth, they can remember how much I love them and desire that they love my God. I’m just saying…