Summary: Sowing seeds today results in bearing fruit tomorrow which in turn leaves a spiritual legacy!
Video Illustration: Leaving a spiritual legacy a father to a son.
Theme – Legacy of the Pew!
Thesis: Sowing seeds today results in bearing fruit tomorrow which in turn leaves a spiritual legacy!
Introduction to series:
We need to invest our lives into leaving a spiritual legacy for our children and our spiritual children just like Jonathan and Sarah Edwards did in the early 1700s in colonial America.
Jonathan Edwards felt God's call to become a minister. He and his young bride became the pastors of a small congregation. During the many years that followed, he wrote numerous sermons, said many prayers, and wrote some books. He was influential in beginning the Great Awakening and seeing a nation be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Together they produced eleven children who grew into adulthood. Remember Sarah was a partner in her husband's ministry, and he sought her advice regarding sermons and church matters. They spent time talking about these things together as a couple, and, when their children were old enough, the parents included them in the discussions. The effects of the Edwards's lives have been far-reaching, but the most measurable results of their faithfulness to God's call is found through their descendants. These descendants are their spiritual legacy!
Elizabeth Dodds records a study done by A. E. Winship in 1900 in which he lists a few of the accomplishments of the 1,400 Edwards descendants he was able to find:
• 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school
• 80 holders of public office
• 66 physicians and a dean of a medical school
• 65 professors of colleges and universities
• 30 judges
• 13 college presidents
• 3 mayors of large cities
• 3 governors of states
• 3 United States senators
• 1 controller of the United States Treasury
• 1 Vice President of the United States
These were just their biological descendants can you imagine what their spiritual children did for the Kingdom of Heaven? When we talk legacy – a spiritual legacy this is what we mean!
Questions to ponder this morning: “What kind of legacy will you leave? Will it be lasting? Will it be imperishable and eternal? Or will you leave behind only physical things like buildings, money, and other possessions?”
Our new series is called “Legacy of the Pew.”
Brief History of the Pew:
The original orthodox church had no pews people would stand or kneel but the pew idea took shape during the Protestant Reformation with the rise of preaching to train the people in God’s Word. The reformation ushered in extensive teaching sermons to train the masses in the knowledge of the Bible. So people sat for longer periods of time listening to the sermons. When pews first took off the church usually did not buy them people did – yes – they bought their own pew to sit in and then surrounded it with a pew box which in those days actually had their names on them. They really did claim them as their own and some families rented them out to those who could not afford their own pews – really I am not making this up! This was common until about the 19th century. Then the church got in the act of charging for the pew. But it became too political and not so biblical and so the church introduced the common pew that anyone could sit on at church service – but this was paid for by the church. So the pew has evolved from wood benches to padded pews to what is now padded comfortable chairs.
So there is the quick history of the pew and the chair you now sit in!
The symbolism of the pew and its history is not what we are talking about – this pew in front of you today represents people – the spiritual lives of others to be exact. It represents the many people who sat, laid and lounged in the pew during services and sermons. So when we talk about the “Legacy of the Pew” we are not talking about the historical story or it’s evolvement over time. What we are talking about is the people who sat in those pews year after year, message after message, service after service, prayer after prayer and so on. The pew represents the spiritual lives of the people and families whose kids slept on them and even under them. It represents the many kids who stood on these pews and grew up on them. It represents the kids who were rocked to sleep on their pew along with some adults too. The legacy of the pew is about generations of church goers who came before you and who will come after you.
Yes, we are talking about the many lives of Christians who sat on those pews and listened to the Word of God, who praised the Lord on them and who kneeled on them to pray to God for help and hope. We are talking about generations of families who grew up on the pew. We are talking about people’s spiritual legacy’s.