“That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, we will not hide from their children.” (Ps. 78:3, BCP 694)
A few years ago, while in seminary, a friend of mine and his wife welcomed their first child. In a facebook status post soon after the birth, he said something to the effect of, “God has entrusted this child to us–he is God’s child, not ours.” It’s stuck with me, and the sentiment in the psalm appointed for Morning Prayer today echoes my friend’s wisdom.
The speaker in this verse sounds like the generation caught in the middle, the generation of parents is very much keeping the children they bear in trust for their own elders. Children belong not to their individual parents, but to the tribe in which they were born. It’s not even up to the parents whether they pass along the faith and truth with which they’ve been entrusted–to teach the young about God is simply what parents owe to their own parents and forebears.
Have you ever thought of your children (or siblings, or kids at your church, or elsewhere in your life) as simply being entrusted to you by God or by your whole lineage of ancestors? The world feels a lot more like a family when we think about our children collectively.