category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 21

Saturday, December 17

2 Samuel 7:23-29; John 4:31-26

Legacy is a noble word, but it could be flattering at times. When the prophet Nathan delivered the good news of “blessing” to David and posterity, the king was overwhelmed. David understood the tremendous weight of responsibility and accountability that comes with his legacy. He was, after all, legendary throughout Israel, but the reality of what he builds and leaves would not come in handy. Interestingly, instead of holding a public celebration, David prayed in private. His prayer shows the content of his heart and the intent of his mind.

What people think of us and how we conduct our daily lives should not be taken lightly. The kind of life that people remember when we are gone is equally important. Legacy both influences and impacts lineage. In his prayer, David is fully aware of this reality: “Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever” (2 Samuel 7:28-29, NIV). Legacy is either built or bestowed, or is a combination of both. Israel’s fascination with David as a teenage warrior defeating Goliath brought him fame; his victories over his enemies and his accomplishments as ruler of a fledgling but stable kingdom made him legendary. David built his legacy based on his exploits, though not without its faults, but the spiritual aspect of it was bestowed. God promised to establish his “house,” which made David’s legacy a gift from the generous and loving God.

In the New Testament, somebody from the “house of David” would ascend and define legacy from a unique perspective. Unlike David, Jesus Christ came as the Change-Agent who can alter people’s eternal destiny: “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 4:35-36). Legacy is not so much about how people perceive someone’s life based on meritocracy, but rather, in Christ, it is about identity—about who he is, his relevance to humanity, and his life and work that transforms lives. To believers, legacy is derived rather than accomplished. Although people remember us because of what we “do,” they also reflect on why we do things that make a difference in society.

As we celebrate the Advent season, we realize that legacy can either be a blessing or a bane. We may not rise as a folk-hero like David, and certainly, we will never duplicate what Christ accomplished for our deliverance from the bondage of sin, but we can understand that our legacy as believers is derived from who Jesus is and how he relates to us. By his grace and power, we can build and leave something that would last for eternity.

Terry Casiño
Professor of Missiology and Intercultural Studies

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Advent Devotion: Day 22

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