My phone buzzed this afternoon, letting me know that someone had posted a notice, that involved me, on Facebook. Most of you know that I am one of those technologically challenged people so I am not very active on social media, with the exception of this blog, and much to my surprise there was a notice about Grandparents’ Day.
I clicked the link and found that Jill had posted a notice about Janet and me and our relationship to her son, Drew. It’s nice to be acknowledged as someone who is important in the lives of your children and grandchildren – anybody, in fact. It’s just nice to be appreciated. But more to the point, I didn’t realize that Grandparents’ Day was a formally recognized day each year, celebrated the Sunday after Labor Day.
Apparently, it was started a number of years ago by Marian McQuaid, a housewife from Fayette, WV. She had a heart for lonely elderly people in nursing homes and eventually, in 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed that Grandparents’ Day would be celebrated in early September.
This whole idea really resonated with me, especially with all the time that Janet and I have spent in the assisted living facility that her parents lived in. And as you know, her mother passed away two weeks ago today. And this morning Janet returned to Williamsburg to spend time with her father, who is now also dealing with severe health issues of his own. There is only so much that she can do while she is there, but during our time there, we have witnessed a number of older folks who have very limited contact with the outside world. Apparently, they either don’t have family members who visit, or the family members just don’t care enough to visit. And that’s a shame – although it is a very common occurrence these days.
Earlier today, I also thought about all the things I learned from my grandparents. Both of my grandmothers were strong in their faith, and my maternal grandfather was as well. With the recent passing of Janet’s mother, Nancy, I also thought about her faith and the faith of her mother, Janet’s grandmother, as well. I just can’t get away from the fact that much of the faith that Janet and I have is attributable to our grandmothers. I’m sure that many of you who read TBTB daily could say the same thing.
The more I think about it, the more important I think it is. Faith is one of those things that gets tougher to acquire the older you get. We find that most people who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior came to their belief early in their lives. Certainly, both Janet and I were believers by the time we were in 6th grade – earlier in fact. Our grandson, Connor, started confirmation class today; he is in the fifth grade and he is already a member of the community of believers. To some degree, the faith of his mother, and both of his grandmothers, has undoubtedly contributed to his faith in Jesus. I’m sure that his observation of my faith has also been a contributing factor. But make no mistake, Janet has been a person of faith since very early in her life and her grandparents played a pivotal role in her spiritual development.
I was curious about Scriptural references to grandparents and faith. I know the Patriarchs had faith and passed it on to their children. And early in the Bible, there are many stories of people who learned about faith from earlier generations. The Jewish people were particularly good about passing their beliefs in God from one generation to the next.
The verse for this evening is from the book of 2 Timothy. Paul, the author of the book, starts out addressing his young friend. He says, in verse 1:5, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Apparently, Timothy received some of his faith from his grandmother as well! So I guess that Janet and I aren’t alone in this.
My encouragement this evening is that there are people in your family who are depending on you to reinforce the faith of the upcoming generations. My prayer is that you will be a great ambassador for God and that you will take this responsibility seriously. After all, God has chosen you spread His word throughout the world and that journey starts with our own families. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…