The below was a short address given at Mum’s Book Launch for My China Mystery.
My memories of Grandpa center around a number of points, moments in time.
There is Grandpa standing in the pulpit, dressed in heavy black robes and white collars, as it seemed in my memory. His baritone voice commands attention, even from a young boy given to having his head in the clouds more often than not. He preaches with a confidence born of the text of God’s Word. He sings deep and full, praise to his King. He prays with arms outstretched – an action I have thought on long and hard.
Grandpa prays with his whole heart, and as a preacher, as a shepherd of the flock, he prays for the portion of God’s flock that are before him.
There is Grandpa in the garden. His daggy comfortable mended pants and shirts weathered and worn as he was, craggy features, white stubble. His hands care tenderly for the plants. The vines, the trees, the fruit and vegetables. He prunes and gathers and grafts. He is a gardener reflecting the Great Husbander, God the Father, who loves and cherishes the true vine, Jesus Christ, and the branches, us.
Which brings up the memory of Grandpa at the end of the table. Eating porridge with great tablespoons of brown sugar liberally sprinkled and mixed through it. He reads from Gods word at every meal. Reads and then unfolds. He speaks of the scarlet thread of Christ being present throughout the entirety of the Bible. He speaks of the importance of faith, and has us go over the book of Romans where he points out specific verses and passages that bear the point and focus of our faith. And he sits at the table and prays. He prays long, which for little minds can sometimes be hard to maintain the discipline of listening and following along with the prayer.
But we sit quietly, hands together, eyes closed. We listen to Grandpa pray, and often the memory of Grandma, who died before my memories really became clear, of Grandma punctuating the prayers with her own agreement of ”amen”.
Before all else these memories point me back to Jesus. They remind me to be daily turning to the Lord. To read His word every day. To wrestle with and cry out to Him in prayer.
My memories of Grandpa, and the few of Grandma that I have, they serve to humble me before the cross of Christ.
Because in the end this heritage that we have is not made of mans boasting, of how great and mighty my Grandpa was, of his abilities and strengths, or even of his weaknesses. These are important, but they are not paramount.
This heritage our family has been given is of an eternal and everlasting nature. It is a heritage ordained from before creation. It is a heritage given by the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. It is life in Christ Jesus, owning Him as Lord and Saviour. It is submission under the sovereign and immovable will of the Almighty God.
My Grandpa is a big part of my memories. Most of all because he points me to the King and says “look to Him”.
At our wedding Grandpa read out a prayer he had typed up on his battered old typewriter.
In finishing I’d like to read it now.
Almighty God, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, our Heavenly Father, source of all life and love. We beseech Thy blessing on – names – who have covenanted in Thy presence to live together as husband and wife.
We pray that You will unite their hearts in true sympathy and love that their life together might be a shining example of Christ-like affection, pure religion and consecrated joy.
If in Your goodness You should bless them with children, make them adequate for all the testings and trials of family life and bestow upon them the grace and wisdom to bring up the little ones in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and in the ways of the Church of God.
Dear Lord, we beseech Thee to bestow Thy Fatherly blessing on the families enriched by this union. May our homes be filled with Thy peace, and our lives be spent in Thy fellowship and service until we arrive at last to the blessing of Eternal Life.
Again we would remember – names -, praying that their love for Thee and for one another may ever grow sweeter and stronger until in the evening of life, when the shadows lengthen and the day darkens one has to lay the other to rest. O Lord may it be with the joy and confidence that “underneath are the Everlasting arms” upholding and keeping until that Great Day when both join together in Thy presence to sing praises to, and worship the “Lamb slain from before the foundation of the World, our Saviour.”