"Aaron will regularly carry the names of the sons of Israel on the Breastpiece of Judgment over his heart as he enters the Sanctuary into the presence of God for remembrance." Exodus 28:29 (MSG)
On the bay window in our dining room sits an ornate Bible big enough to choke a mule. It is worn with age, but beautiful with large silver clasps holding the cover closed. It is written entirely in Dutch. It belonged to my great-grandfather, Walter Vander Well, who emigrated to the U.S. from the Netherlands back in 1885. It regularly reminds me of the faith of my father's family, and hearkens me back to memories of sitting in my grandfather kitchen as he read God's message to the family after a meal.
On the sideboard in our living room is a tattered, leather covered Bible. It belonged to my grandfather's Uncle, James Hendrickson, who was a preacher on the Iowa and Illinois prairie in the early 20th Century. My great-grandfather committed suicide when my grandfather was 13, and my grandfather was raised by his grandparents. His Uncle Jim became a large spiritual influence in his life. His old Bible regularly reminds me of the faith of my mother's family, and how it guided them through difficult circumstances.
As I read in today's chapter about the breastpiece made for the high priest to wear, it struck me that Aaron was to take the names of his ancestors, the twelve sons of Jacob (a.k.a. Israel) into the sanctuary with him. What a reminder of spiritual legacy. How blessed to remember family, physical or spiritual, who sojourned before us and cleared a path for us to follow.
Today, I'm thankful for my family members who walked the path before me and blazed a trail of faith in ways that I'm sure I don't know nor can I comprehend. I'm mindful of a daughter getting married in two weeks, of a new generation to come, and my role in walking faithfully ahead of those who follow the path behind me.
Perhaps my Bible will one day sit on a great-great-grandson's coffee table as a reminder.