Explore
Follow Us

Connecting generations

We just got back from our family reunion in Colorado. It was sweet – much better than some of our past reunions. I like that word reunion. Re-union. It supposes that there was a union of sorts at some point in the past. But how many families can you say that is true for? My dad's family…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We just got back from our family reunion in Colorado. It was sweet – much better than some of our past reunions.

I like that word reunion. Re-union. It supposes that there was a union of sorts at some point in the past. But how many families can you say that is true for?

My dad's family and my family, for example, were separated by war while we children grew up. For four years, my grandfather was over in Europe during World War II. My dad, at age 9, was, by default, the "man of the house."

A generation later, my dad was in Viet Nam. History repeated itself as I was the "man of the house" at age 9.

The business of war is horrific – it tears at the fabric of a man and the fabric of his family. Generations later, you can still feel its aftershocks. It reverberates in the way we cope and do relationships.

And so sometimes, a re-union can be like a treasure hunt – looking for something you never had, something that you only knew existed because there was a hole in your heart that needed filling.

I don't think it's an accident that the last verse of the Old Testament is a transitional verse that speaks of re-union: "He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents." (Malachi 4:6)

The Old Testament represents a series of generations and the New Testament, their children. The experiences and life-outlook of one generation are so dramatically different from the next, only God can connect them. Just think of the differences we face between generations in modern times:

  • War & depression vs. economic abundance
  • Values: hard work & commitment vs. relationship
  • Styles of communication: spoken words vs. Facebook
  • Different aspirations
  • Different heroes

We get our hearts wrapped around these things and a great gulf can separate hearts.

Yet we all long for re-union at some level. We are all curious about our origins. No matter how large a gulf exists between generations, parents were still there at the beginning. No matter what differences or betrayals, they still hold secrets and power that we want.

How can our hearts be reconciled and connected? Given all the differences and the size of the gap, it can seem impossible. Pain can overwhelm desire.

Re-union begins with prayer. Intercession is the act of bridging gaps. If there is an unnamed longing that whispers in your soul, a longing for connection between the generations, it is a longing that God himself shares. It is he who turns the hearts of one generation to another. It is a gift he longs to give.

Our part is prayer. Only intercession can help us get over the pain and bridge the gap that separates us. Whatever gap you feel, God may be calling you to begin building a bridge with prayer.

Comments (3)

  • Generational DISconnect is so powerful. Praying with you that our REconnection of generations begins, especially as we establish a pattern a multi-generational faithfulness to Christ.

  • PRAISE GOD FOR SETH FOR BRINGING US GOOD NEWS OF R LORD AND MIRACLES WE NEED TO SEE IN THIS ERA I SEND IT TO ALL MY CONTACTS.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy