Thank God for Grandparents

March 17, 2011

Excerpt from 2 Timothy 1:3-7

"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you."

Reflection by Lillian Daniel

I can't tell you how many people, when asked about a mentor in the faith, mention a grandmother or a grandfather. And this comes from people of all generations. So it doesn't mean that one generation was faithful and the next was less so. It does mean that grandparents make a huge difference in young people's lives of faith, and that they remember it as adults.

Sometimes it is the grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church. The parents have opted out, so the grandparents step in. They work around the family constraints with diplomacy, love and patience, doing what they can.

Sometimes grandparents expose their grandchildren to a different kind of faith, to supplement what the parents are offering. That can be another kind of special gift that grandchildren remember.

I have a whole little crew of kids I think of as ours, as somehow belonging to our church, even though their parents are not members. They are the grandkids, who show up for holidays, or when they are in town for family trips or perhaps every Sunday with a grandparent who has taken on the role of full-time spiritual mentor, and in some cases, full-time parent as well.

Today, let's acknowledge the work of grandparents and elders. Their faith lives on in the new generations.

Prayer

Bless my elders and my mentors in the faith, and allow me to guide others as well. Thank you God, for grandparents. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the author, with Martin Copenhaver, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.

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