Every four years, the world watches as the best athletes from all around the world gather to compete at the highest level of sports in the Olympic Games. One of my favorite sports to watch in the Olympic Games is track and field. Although many athletes in track and field, run races or compete in individual events, there are some whose performance will affect the success or failure of an entire team. I think of the interdependence of those who do relay races. I find myself on the edge of my seat as I watch the runners come around the bend and stretch forward with baton in hand and pass it on to the next runner. It is at that crucial moment that one slip or one hesitation can lose the race for the team.
And so it is with the “Baton of Faith” that the Lord has commanded us to pass onto the next generation. This crucial window of time that we have to pass on “…the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3) is fleeting. One moment of hesitation or one slip and the opportunity may be lost. This idea of passing on our faith is seen in many places throughout the Word of God including today’s Bible reading in Psalm 78. Notice the verses written by Asaph: “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done…That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (vv. 2-4, 6-7). Asaph understood the responsibility that fathers had to pass on the teaching of God’s Word with a multi-generational vision in mind. Not only did he speak of his own children but of his children teaching their children. We are reminded here that we must teach our children to teach their children to teach their children and on and on. Asaph was concerned with showing the next generation God’s praise, God’s strength, and God’s wonderful works. And we must do the same.
There is no neutrality or indolence that is allowed for Christian parents when it comes to passing on truth to the next generation. Every parent is a teacher, a discipler, and an evangelist to their own children. Spurgeon said, “…ministers and Sabbath-school teachers were never meant to be substitutes for mothers’ tears and fathers’ prayers.” It is our duty as parents (and grandparents) to successfully pass on the “Baton of Faith” that is in our hand!