In just a week, my family will gather to celebrate the happiest of occasions – a wedding. My youngest brother, Josh, is getting married, and the next day, we will celebrate my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary. What an appropriate day in which to honor their commitment to one another and to us, their family!
As I reflect upon our family’s history and future, I am struck by the centrality and importance of the faith we share. I remember attending church with all of my grandparents. I have a cherished photo of my own baptism, as an infant, in which grandparents and great-grandparents gather. Some of you have gotten to know my Grandpa and Grandma on my mother’s side, Creighton and Mary, as they attend worship and occasional special events at Orenco, and once in a while, I convince my grandpa to sing for us and my grandma to play the piano. On my dad’s side of the family, I remember attending Wayne Presbyterian Church, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, as a freshman in college; my grandmother would slyly hand me a dollar bill, though I was eighteen years old, to slip into the offering plate.
My grandparents and parents laid a foundation for me that has remained, that of Jesus Christ. I will never be more thankful for anything else.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 reads:
For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Preceding these verses, Paul reflects upon Timothy’s foundation, a faith living first in his grandmother and then in his mother. He seeks to strengthen and encourage Timothy with this reminder of his history. He goes on to tell him to rely upon the Lord and His strength and power, in sharing the Gospel with others.
This is an important month at Orenco, as Vacation Bible School begins. Various activities for children and teens follow VBS, including an overnighter for our youth groups, in which they will be raising money for the homeless. In the fall, Sunday School will begin for the school year. I could list the various activities and programs our church offers our children and youth, but instead I ask you for your prayers for them. I ask you to also consider your gifts. As we continue to preach through Acts this summer, I also ask you to allow God to work through you. The same power we see in the early church is God’s power today, and He will do amazing things through us, if only we are willing … and bold! Consider your foundation and those who shared their faith with you when you were a child. How can you pass that on to our younger generations?
If there is a secret to being married for sixty-five years, it must be a shared foundation in Jesus Christ. I’ll be sure to ask my grandparents.