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Psalm 128:5-6

Friday, January 26

Celebrating Grandparents

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Today we celebrate grandparents! The psalmist blesses the one "who fears the Lord," (v.4) with the promise that they will live long enough to see their grandchildren.

Grandparents Support the Family

Grandparents are a blessing to their grandchildren. Grandparents protect their grandchildren, and can be there when the kids' parents need some support. I remember spending two weeks each summer with my grandparents. I used to think it was a treat for my sister and me to get to live like princesses for two weeks. Now I know it was probably to give mom and dad a break! Regardless, those times together bonded us with grandparents we didn't see often, and left me with some of the best memories of my life. (Like the "donut summer," when my Gramps, me, and my sister went to the donut shop every day for freshly baked donuts. Ok, so I might have put on a few pounds, but it was totally worth it.)

Grandparents Pass on the Family's Heritage

Grandparents are also important for passing on their heritage. My mom is big into genealogy, having mapped her side of the family back to before her ancestors came over the sea with Columbus. Now, she passes on those stories to my kids. While they are a little too young to care right now (young adults have more pressing matters), my mom's writings of her history will be invaluable to us all one day. More than that, the stories my parents share with my kids help to shape the family's legacy.

Grandparents Teach What Parents Can't

Through stories and hands-on learning, grandparents can be great teachers. They can teach things the parents can't, simply because they are not the parents. Funny how a parent can say or do something that kids totally disregard, but when the grandparents say or do the same thing, it is brilliant! Sure, it's a bummer being the one your kids won't listen to (like it's a bummer that Santa gets the credit for bringing all the best gifts), but it's also a blessing that they have someone they do listen to, to teach them important life lessons.

Grandparents Love Unconditionally

Parents love unconditionally, too. But parents must also set limits and put conditions on behaviors in a way grandparents aren't bound to. Or aunts, for that matter. I am an aunt (no grandkids yet, but I'm super ready for when they do come). I have had the privilege of giving my niece her first pop rocks and my nephew his first sword. I also am the one the tween calls when her mom is being impossible. I am in a unique position to be her support when mom just doesn't get it. This kind of unconditional acceptance is only possible because I'm not the one who has to raise them.

Yes, grandparenting is a gift, both for the grandchildren and for the grandparents. And grandparents don't need to be related by blood. Lots of kids have "nanas" and "pop pops" that aren't related by blood. But they are family, and they are gifts. Here's to grandparents!

Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 128: 5-6

The Lord bless you from Zion.
   May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life. 
May you see your children’s children.
   Peace be upon Israel!

Earlier Event: January 25
Psalm 128:3-4
Later Event: January 27
Psalm 129:1-8