Meditations of a New Grandfather
On December 7, the Enright family received a miraculous Christmas gift, by the name of Rowan Dailey Enright. He weighed 8lbs., 9oz., and in the four weeks since, he has already brought great joy to us all. Those of you who have preceded me into the privileged ranks of grandparenthood will know what I mean when I express my awe at how quickly that tiny creature has captured my heart. I’m quite sure he has captured Sharon’s also, as I had to pry him from her arms when it was time to return home from our first visit with him. There is something about being a grandparent, without the stresses and anxieties that come with the responsibilities of keeping an infant alive and providing for it for the next 20 plus years, that enable one to take in the gift of new life from a different perspective.
Still, welcoming a child into this world is not without its concerns. The past year has been a potent reminder of how deeply scarred our world is, and how fragile are the human institutions we depend on for the comforts and stability of everyday life we too often take for granted. I believe there are dark days ahead for those of us who have enjoyed the peace and prosperity of a nation grounded, however tenuously, in biblical principles. As I see that foundation being dismantled, I can’t help but wonder what our precious Rowan will see, and face, in his lifetime if the Lord does not return.
At the same time, while it is important to be realistic about those troubling realities, they need not be a cause for fear—because our living God, Rowan’s creator, and the true and sovereign king of creation remains on his throne. He has given life to Rowan, and I am confident that he has brought him into this world—at this time—for a purpose. My task as his grandfather is not to fret for his future, but to teach him about his creator, and to help him understand and embrace the purpose for which he has been given life. I take to heart Moses’ instruction in Deuteronomy 6. “These commandments,” he says, “are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Dt. 6:6-9).
On New Year’s Eve, as the family gathered to ring in 2021 together, I was privileged to take my turn in the darkened living room, away from all the commotion of the celebration, to hold my grandson in my arms as he struggled and fussed, and then quieted down and went to sleep. In those quiet moments I began my grandparent’s task. I told him how he is fearfully and wonderfully made and that the God who made him also loves him even more than I do; that he loves him so much that he gave his one and only son in order to make him his own. I told him of a God whose ways are good and wise—a God to whom he could entrust his very life. I told him of God’s plan for him—to shape him after the likeness of his Son, Jesus. And I sang to him of the goodness and joy that he will know as he comes to know the God who gave him life.
Sleep well, my precious one. Yes, the days are evil—but your creator is good; and in the shadow of his wings you have nothing to fear. As Moses instructed us, we will teach you to know him and trust him—and he will guard your life.
Pastor Jon EnrightFebruary 1, 2021