My Canadian, maternal grandmother, “Nana,” kept her Bible on her bed table all the days of her life that I can remember, and I was born in her house. Her Bible was a well-worn one. She played the organ in her Anglican church beginning at a time before I was born, and continued throughout all the days of her life. She also chose the hymns for every Sunday service.
Her family, myself included, could be something of a rowdy bunch and Nana would join in the fun but, when it came to her faith, God, most assuredly, made her “an instrument of His peace” and she did serve Him, always.
She was the youngest child in large family. She lost her amazing husband, my grandfather, too young. He had been gassed during the World War, and he died at far too young an age.
I don’t ever remember hearing my grandmother complain. She just fed every person who came through her door. She made each person she met feel valued and cared for and loved, be they family or stranger and, if they did need caring for, she would find a way to do just that.
Nana had two hobbies. First, she painted; primarily landscapes, in great numbers. Canadian winters are long and they are snowy and family and friends, to this day, have Nana’s (Ivy Kenney’s) oil paintings on their walls. She also fed everyone who walked through her doors, regardless of the time of the day and she played the organ at Church for as many years as she lived.
Life, for me, was not always uncomplicated but throughout my ‘Nana’s” lifetime I knew there was one place and one person who would welcome me, arms open wide, and I knew that her love was always bigger and stronger and greater than any of my woes or my pain.
So my personal prayer is that during my lifetime I might be able to remotely come close to being that person for someone else from time to time.
Certainly no one would ever want to hang a painting of mine on a wall in their home – that’s without question! But maybe Lent can be a time where, instead of “giving something up,” we can take on something new. Maybe Lent isn’t about depriving yourself of chocolate or dessert at all. Instead, maybe it’s a time and an opportunity to serve, but to serve someone else, selflessly.
Need is all around us, every single day. How much of a difference would we be able to make as a church body, if each of us simply committed to finding a way, for these forty days, to do one “additional” kind, or loving, or charitable thing each day. If each person at Christ Church made that commitment, I believe we would all, daily, be reminded that the heart of Lent is Jesus, and that Jesus calls us to love and to serve one another. “Amen!”
*A double amen ("amen and amen") occurs in Psalm 89 (Psalm 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the fulfillment of them. Amen occurs in several doxology formulas in Romans 1:25, 9:5, 11:36, 15:33, and several times in Chapter 16.
Amen and Amen!
Submitted by Donna
Readings for Today: