For the Hebrews in the early part of the Bible, living forever meant having progeny—bearing children so that your name would “not depart from the earth.” Eternal life was through your “seed.”
Later in the Bible, they spoke of the notion of the soul and came to believe that the soul could live on after death, and some believed in the possibility of resurrection, where not only the soul would live on, but the body as well would enter into some kind of afterlife.
As Lutherans we typically don’t speculate much about afterlife. We believe that through Christ we have the promise of life forever in God’s presence. The Apostle Paul considered it a mystery and a blessed hope.
That being said, one very practical and gospel way to live on is through legacy giving. A legacy gift continues our influence, our intentions, our goals and our values even after we have crossed over from this life to the next. It funds “Thy Kingdom come, on earth …” Even after we pass on, we live on. Leaving a legacy gift to your church allows Zion to offer new ministries or bolster those we already have, such as youth programs, camping ministry, lecture series, mission trips, facility upgrades and repairs.
You can leave a legacy gift to Zion in a number of ways:
- Naming Zion in your will – by identifying a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the estate
- Naming Zion as a beneficiary on something like an investment account or insurance policy
- Identifying specific stock or real estate, etc. to be given to Zion upon your death
So many faithful people before us have sacrificed and given in this way. They have passed to us this amazing church. As we receive this gift, let’s be willing to match their faithfulness and generosity so that folks fifty years from now will be blessed by the generous faithfulness of our time in the life of the church.
Legacy giving is one faithful way of living on.