Channeling the Past

I will make every effort to see that after my departure
you will always be able to remember these things.
                                    —2 Peter 1:15

A troupe of Israelites was burying a man when they spotted a band of Moabite raiders coming their way. Spooked, they threw the body into Elisha’s tomb. “When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life” (2 Kgs 13:21).

This strange story reminds us of the influential power of those who have preceded us.

The bones of David Livingstone are interred in Westminster Abbey. Cleric Gordon Calthrop pointed to his tomb and said, “Let us be quickened into fresh life by contact with the bones of Livingstone.”

Memories of those whose words and works have blessed us enliven us:

  • Envisioning the lives of the apostles animates us.
  • Perusing commentators’ books on our shelves inspires us.
  • Remembering loving and exemplary parents motivates us.

Only the arrogant and ungrateful
feel no debt to the past.

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