I am so excited . . . so in love with my new grandson. Can you imagine – deprived of sleep (for one of the greatest reasons in my life) . . . and my son texts me: “He’s here, Father! Come quick! I am a grandfather again and I have been re-confirmed to my role as a father! I’ll never forget that “tweet” and the invitation from my son to see his son and now focus my role as a grandfather on my newest grandson – Beau! (7 lbs. 6 oz.) And beautiful…I mean “handsome” he is! I wonder what my grandson (and all my grandchildren) would say about me as their grandfather?
I love to talk about grapes and about wine. I love to grow things and especially grapes! Jesus knew about grapes and talked about the fact that we are to see Him as the Vine and we are the branches. Jesus begins his analogy of the vine and branches by saying that He is the “true vine and God the Father is the ‘vinedresser’(husbandman).”
He mentions the Father 23 times as you lead up to the story in John 15. He pictures the loving care of His Father for Him and the disciples through the picture of a vinedresser’s concern for his plants. He is lifting up all of this in terms of His relationship and attitude, as well as His actions in the lives of his “children” and disciples.
When I was growing up, my father loved to make wine. He would often speak of certain wines that seem to improve with age. They become more flavorful and full-bodied. There are also some that don’t age well. They lose their flavor and turn into vinegar. Grandfathers are similar to wine. Some age well and are a blessing to
their family. Others are, well…they’re much like wine that has turned to vinegar. I’ve been thinking . . . which am I?
Join me in retrospective thinking by asking: Which are you? I hope I have a vital role in my family’s well-being, especially their spiritual well-being, if you are a follower of Christ. Proverbs 13:22 says: “A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” Though this passage is speaking about an inheritance of material wealth, could it not also refer to something more than material possessions? Are material possessions all I am
responsible to leave to the next generations?
In their book, The Heritage, Otis Ledbetter and Kurt Bruner define heritage as including “the spiritual, emotional and social legacy that is passed on from parent to child… good or bad.” They suggest that these three components of an inheritance provide a connection to one’s past, an identity and security in the present, and hope for the future. So, how do we, as grandparents, make sure that the inheritance or heritage we leave our grandchildren fulfills those criteria? Here are the three basic things grandparents can do to be a good and full-bodied heritage builder:
(1) BE INVOLVED! Jump into your role with enthusiasm and expectancy. In a time of epidemic absenteeism in families, let’s not let that be the case for
us. As a grandparent, we hold the key to a meaningful inheritance for your grandchildren. They need our example and involvement in their lives… more than we often realize.
(2) LEAVE A WRITTEN/RECORDED LEGACY Our stories need to be told, but they also need to be written down or recorded so that it is not forgotten among future generations. Record your family history, your own personal life journey, and the lessons God has taught you in that journey.
(3) GIVE YOUR BLESSING The spoken blessing is a powerful tool for communicating the high value God has given to each individual He created in His image, and to affirm and picture a special future that God has purposed for each person who is born into this world. Your grandchildren are overwhelmed with words of faithlessness and hopelessness. They need to hear from you words of blessing, faith, and hopefulness.
We are going to talk about these ideas this Sunday. Join me for worship and some great tools including “AN INTENTIONAL GRANDPARENT DECLARATION” that I will make available to everyone. Go be the Church… See you in church!