Walking On Water

September 13th is Grandparents’ Day

They were grandparents to a new baby boy. Thrilled! They thought he could walk on water. Unlike most grandparents, they were right.

Jesus is such a towering figure that we often forget he had grandparents. Traditionally, they are named Joachim and Anna and appear in a very early church document. Their names and story, once written, quickly caught the imagination of believers everywhere and was translated into all the major languages of the Mediterranean Basin. The story is about the birth of Mary.

At some point, probably after their work was done, Joachim and Anna realized they were the grandparents of the Messiah, the Lord and Savior of the world.

“Us?” Who knows when that realization struck. Their response is debatable; their existence is not. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had parents. Whatever their names and whatever they did, they existed. 

What can we learn from the grandparents of Jesus? First, like them, you have been chosen by God for the specific purpose of passing on your faith to your grandchildren. Like every devout Jew at the time, Jesus’ grandparents knew this command from Moses:

Be very careful not to forget the things your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart as long as you live, but make them known to your children and to your children’s children. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Jesus was born into a culture of faith that lived that commandment. He learned and grew in the wisdom that was passed on by that culture: celebrating the Sabbath, praying before meals, telling the stories of Adam and Eve, Moses, and David.

The Son of God became man in space and time. Yes, he knew all things but he hadn’t experienced them. As a human, he was formed by the culture Mary inherited from her parents, a culture that integrated prayer, food, faith, festivals, time, places, worship, language, singing, dancing… life.

God gave Jesus specific grandparents. He has given your grandchildren specific grandparents, you. The job description is the same, pass on your faith to your children’s children. Who knows what they will turn out to be!

Michael Shaughnessy writes from Lansing, Michigan. His most recent book, The Strategic Grandparent, is available at The Word Among Us and Amazon.

Copyright © 2020 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club

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