October 30, 2011: What Would Be in Your Ethical Will?

Posted on : Oct 27th, 2011 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

A while ago my sister-in-law sent me this piece:

There Are Two Kinds of Legacy

When you die, your possessions will be distributed according to a will in which you allocated property to specific people. Objects left in a will are called a legacy.

But “legacy” also has a much deeper meaning.

In Jewish tradition, people write “ethical wills” in which they pass on to the next generation, especially their children, the gift of wisdom and good wishes. This legacy is far more profound and permanent than bequests of property.

An ethical will is often a personal letter to the most important people in our lives. It conveys our values, convictions and hopes. An ethical will is also an autobiography – not of events and dates, but of the insights and intuitions that define who we are and tell the world what we stand for and what we think is important.

These documents provide a priceless and prized source of loving advice and can become treasured family heirlooms. Because they are about ethics, they also can become a moral compass that helps loved ones navigate their way to worthy and happy lives.

Yet no matter how highly cherished these letters can be for those who receive them, the process of writing them can change your perspective and cause you to readjust your own priorities.

What would you put in your ethical will?

That is the perfect question to ask as we celebrate All Saints Sunday.

 

Blessings,

Dan

 

This Sunday’s Scriptures:

Hebrews 11 – 12 (selected verses)

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells how the magnificent experience of FAITH is passed down from generation to generation.  The letter concludes with the much loved words, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let US lay aside everything that weighs us down and every sin that clings and run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The Faith of Abraham

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because God considered Abraham and Sarah faithful. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, ‘as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.’

The Faith of Moses

23 By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.* 24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of economic prosperity. 2627By faith Moses left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger. 28By faith he kept the Passover.

The Faith of Other Israelite Heroes

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

The Example of Jesus

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

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