September 9, 2021

Hand Me Down Faith


Psalm 22:23-31


My mother-in-law was a talented seamstress. She began sewing at an early age, and by the time she had her first child, she was proficient at French hand sewing. For her daughter’s baptism she stitched a white cotton batiste gown with pin tucks, delicate lace, and intricate smocking. 

Through the years, that gauzy, lacy gown made its appearance as new babies were brought to the baptismal font to be marked as children of God. My own babies had their chubby little arms stuffed inside those delicate sleeves and presented to the Lord in front of the Brentwood UMC congregation.

It wasn’t just the baptismal gown that got handed down from generation to generation — it was also faith. Our parents and grandparents believed in God, worshiped every Sunday, observed the sacraments of baptism and communion, and brought their children up in the nurture of the church. When we had our children, we continued the tradition, and our son and his wife brought their son for baptism as well.

Our reading today emphasizes the responsibility of each generation to “proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn.” Our faith is not just a treasured hand-me-down like a delicate baptismal gown, it’s also a living, breathing power for each day of life. That’s what we need to hand down to our children.


  • Who influenced your faith when you were growing up? What faith traditions were passed down in your family? Which of those have you passed down to children in your family?


  • Ask your parents or grandparents to tell you a story about their faith in God. 


God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, help us to faithfully tell the next generation about your loving kindness, faithfulness, and mighty acts of salvation. Please help us to live lives that give power to our words. Amen.