Today is national Grandparent’s Day. We want to honor all our grandparents. Next Wednesday will be September 11. One year ago Wednesday 3003 people lost their lives as terrorist attacked America. We want to remember them today in this service. So, today is also our September 11 service.
September 11 And Grandparents Day
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: Genesis 11:31, Exodus 10:2, 2 Kings 17:41, 2 Timothy 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:4
First we want to honor our grandparents. If you are a grandparent, will you please stand and remain standing for just a moment? We want to thank you. You have brought life to your family. You have made certain that life continued for your family. You have loved your children and your grandchildren and some of you are blessed to enjoy great grand children. I pray for you and bless you with health and long life.
If you are like me, being a grandparent is a reward to you for putting up with your kids all those years. Being a grandparent has been one of the best parts of my life. I get to simply love my grandchildren. Please remain standing for just a moment more.
Now, no matter how old you are, if you one day want to be a grandparent, would you please stand? That should be all of us. I hope that is all of us. This will help in my transition to September 11 in just a moment. It is a hope isn’t it? We all want to grow old. We want to see our children’s children and even our children’s, children’s children if possible. Let’s give everyone a big hand and be seated. Thank you.
One of the greatest parts of life is being a grandparent. The Bible speaks a lot about that part of life. For the next few minutes, I would like to talk about the blessings of being a grandparent. At the same time, I want to talk about September 11. I want to give us five blessing of being a grandparent.
Doing Life Together
How many of us remember where we were on September 11, 2001 when you heard the news that America was being attacked? My wife and I were on vacation at Panama City Beach, Florida. My daughter and my grandchildren were there. I was fishing in the gulf of Mexico with my son when we received a phone call telling us the Pentagon and World Trade Center had been attacked. By the time we came in that afternoon from fishing, thousands of people had died in that massive terror attack. Thousands of lives had been snuffed out in a moment.
Most of those people who died on September 11, 2001 during that horrible day of terror never got to be grandparents. Their lives were snuffed out like a candle. Some never had the opportunity to be a parent. Not only were their lives snuffed out, but their future generations were snuffed out also. Did you know that the youngest person killed at the towers that day was a two-year-old little girl named Christine Lee Hanson. Her dad and mom had taken her to the World Trade Center. The entire family was snuffed out like a candle.
On September 11, 2001, I was doing life with my children and grandchildren. That is one of the blessings that the Bible tells us that grandparents, their children, and grandchildren get to enjoy. We enjoy doing life together.
Genesis 11:31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
In Genesis chapter eleven, the story begins about Abraham. We are given a picture of family generations doing life together. Grandparents, their children and grandchildren are to journey through life together. One of the saddest aspects to me about 9-11 is those people will not get to do life with their children and grandchildren. They will not get to take the journey of life with their families. I remember doing life with my grandparents and parents. Then I became a parent. I remember my parents doing life with my children. Then I remember my dad before he died holding Jack, my oldest grandson.
Those casualties of September 11 will not get to do that. They will not get to be a 21st century grandparent. They won’t get to be in the delivery room when that little head pops out. I was. They won’t get to watch that first breath take place and hear that first cry. I did. They won’t get to hold that little life. I did. They won’t get to take pictures and send those pictures all over the world on the Internet. They won’t get to be 21st century grandparents. Their light was snuffed out like a candle. Don’t take doing life with your children and grandchildren for granted. Grandchildren, don’t take your parents and grandparents for granted.
Another thing grandparents get to do is bless their grandchildren.
Genesis 31:55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.
Laban was not a picture perfect person and his household was not a picture perfect household. Yet, he loved his grandchildren and wanted to bless them.
Shortly after my grandchildren were born, I was able to hold and bless them. I prayed over them and spoke a word over them. I continue to do that every time I am around them. I will be sitting in my chair at home. They want to sit in my lap. I put my arms around them, hold them next to me, kiss them on the top of their heads, and bless them.
Those who perished on 9-11 will never get to do that. They won’t be able to smell their grandchildren’s hair and feel their little hearts beating. Please don’t take that lightly. Every opportunity you have, bless your grandchildren. It doesn’t need to be an eloquent prophetic utterance. Just tell them how much you love them. Tell them how smart they are. Tell them they can do anything they want to do in life. Tell them they will be successful. Tell them how proud you are of them. Those who died on 9/11 will never get to do that. Their lights were snuffed out.
Telling grandchildren about the goodness of God
Exodus 10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them
Exodus 10:2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”
Sometimes we go through difficult times just so we will know that the Lord is the Lord. He will take care of our enemies.
We are beginning to tell Jack and explain to him the stories of our lives. Jack, my oldest grandchild, is trying to figure out how I am his mommy’s daddy and his uncle Lance’s daddy, but his Ahdaddy (that’s what he called me when he began talking and the name stuck). We will get to tell each grandchild our stories and in the center of our stories is the Lord God.
One of the most meaningful events that has happened to me over the past several weeks is when my grandchildren sit with me during the worship service. I love watching them observe our family worshiping. They see their grandmother singing praises and ministering to people. They see their uncle singing and leading praise. They watch me lift my hands and sing and love the Lord. It is wonderful when I see them do a little worship too. They already love church. They watch the church movies at home as much as they watch Shrek and Barney. The church movies are our “Year in Review” video and the “Easter Drama” video. They play church – “Kings Kastle” our VBS. They are already learning God’s goodness.
Those that perished on 9/11 won’t have the opportunity to tell their life’s stories to their grandchildren. They won’t get to go to church with them. They won’t get to worship with their grandchildren and help train them in the ways of the Lord. It’s so sad. Please don’t take that for granted. Grandchildren, sit with your grandparents sometimes in church. I know you love to sit with other students, but your grandparents love it when you want to sit with them. Your grandparents will not always be there. Grandparents, don’t take worshiping with your family lightly. Those who perished on 9/11 will never get that blessing. Their light was snuffed out.
Impact future generations
Another thing that grandparents get to do is impact future generations. That impact can be for evil or for good.
2 Kings 17:41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
2 Timothy 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.
We direct the future by what we accomplish with our children and our grandchildren. The good or evil of generations to come is greatly determined by grandparents.
I was having lunch recently with a business man. He was speaking about how darkness (evil) is getting darker. The future will be darker still unless we parents and grandparents do our jobs. We get to show our children the difference between idol worship and worshiping the Lord. My grandchildren will be reminded that the faith that lives in their grandmother Judy and is in their mother Bonnie, now lives in them also. We can add the faith that lived in your grandfather Delbert and in your dad Jody, now lives in them also. Their lives should be light, not heavy darkness. They will know the difference between worshiping the Lord Jesus and worshiping idols.
Those that perished on September 11, 2001 will not get to do that. They will have no say about the future. They will not have the opportunity to bring further light to the world. They will not experience the blessing of observing faith develop in their children and grandchildren. Their light was snuffed out.
Blessed by grandchildren
Another blessing of life is when grandchildren get to take care of and bless their grandparents.
1 Timothy 5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
Children and grandchildren are to take care of their parents and grandparents when the parents and grandparents are no longer are able. The Lord allowed us to do this with my wife’s grandfather. The last year of his life, he lived with Judy and me. During that time, both our children lived at home. This experience made better people out of all of us. It showed us a part of life nothing else could have shown us. It showed us things about ourselves nothing else could have shown us. It was such a learning experience. We didn’t do everything correctly, but we got to love and repay him. That was pleasing to God. We got to do life with him. He got to do life with his granddaughter and great grand children.
The grandchildren of those who perished on September 11 will not get to do that. Those who had grandchildren will never get the opportunity to love and repay their grandparents. They will never have that opportunity to learn about life. This is especially true and sad if the generations were terminated. There will never be grandchildren to repay their grandparents. Their light was snuffed out.
The Bible speaks a lot about grandparents and grandchildren. It is to be a part of life. We get to do life together. We get to bless our grandchildren. We get to tell them our life story and tell them about how Jesus delivered us again and again. We get to worship with them. We get to impact the future through them. We get to bring the faith that lives in us to live in them. We get to grow old and allow them to repay and bless us. Those who died on September 11, 2001 will never get the blessings of being a grandparent.
We will take a moment and watch a video. Afterwards we will then have a candle light memorial service for those who perished on September 11, 2001.
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