“When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
Many things are contagious. Some bad things are contagious—like colds, and flu, and the Ebola virus. And some stupid things are contagious. Songs off the radio are a good example. I have a very good minister friend, Archie Taflinger, who understands this phenomenon and plays a mean little game. Whenever we are working Church Camp together, he will walk up and sing four bars from a popular song to some camp worker who is occupied with another task.
For instance, to a man preparing a sermon he may warble, “You look in her eyes—the music begins to play.” Then the unsuspecting victim has “New Kid in Town” by the Eagles stuck in his head for the next 6 hours. Or my pastor friend may walk up behind a camp cook who is stirring a huge pot of macaroni and cheese and sing, “And when you get the chance….you are the Dancing Queen.” Then the poor victim has ABBA running through herbrain for the rest of the day. (Let me make clear that I am not promoting this activity, just reporting it. I really worry about my friend’s salvation.)
With all the bad things that are contagious, and stupid things that are contagious, it is a comforting fact that many good things are “catching.” Paul writes about this fact in today’s lesson (at the top). He is writing a letter to a young preacher named Timothy. When you read between the lines of all the passages where Paul speaks of Timothy, it is plain to see that Paul adored Timothy and was pleased with his service for the Lord. Something that is interesting about Timothy is that the Scriptures never mention his father. It may have been that Timothy did not have a father present in his life, or perhaps that his dad was an unbeliever. Paul says that Timothy had a “genuine faith”—and that this faith once lived in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. You see, Lois and Eunice were both infected with the same “strain” of saving faith—and they spread this holy virus on to Timothy. Paul said that the same faith that once lived in the women now lived in Timothy—and the faith had taken hold in his life.
This has proven to be true in my own life—the faith I have is the same faith that once lived in my mother, Elizabeth Cash, and in my late grandmothers, Sarah Arenar Cash and Winifred. Davis. To some extent, I was “taught” my faith, as these women who loved me gave me instruction in God’s Word. But, in another way, I “caught” my faith, as I saw them live by faith in the Son of God. It’s a debt that I can never really repay. Now that I have sons of my own, I am striving to teach them the faith by bringing them up in the church—and I hope that I am living a life in which my faith will be contagious to them.
So, dear mamas, make sure to take your little ones to Sunday School this week—so that they can have a faith that is “taught”. And go to morning worship this week to nurture your own faith—so that you will have a faith that can be “caught”. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day in the Lord!
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church” (where at this very moment someone is probably singing, “Loving you…is easy ‘cause you’re beautiful” to poison the minds of the others that live there.). You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.