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Our daughter and son-in-law had their first child during the Advent season. As new grandparents, you realize very quickly that you can discover new born love again and that when you are invited to share in that young life, your own life changes. Overnight.

The miracle of this new moment brings me back to Psalm 139 and verses like, For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be…” reminds me again of how close our Creator is to us.

In preparation for the birth of our granddaughter, my wife made a beautiful quilt for her and attached a note to it which stated simply, “Made with love by Oma.” And it was. She did an amazing job.

Shortly after our new grandchild was born, I began to build her a crib. I Like to tinker and do small projects like this from time to time. I find it therapeutic and life giving.

Letting our daughter and son-in-law choose a design, I could then begin to work drafting up some working drawings to determine the materials I would require. I also needed to sort through the proper dimensions in order to make this bed a safe one for this very special child.

It was a detail filled process of checking, double checking, cutting, assembling, gluing, fastening, and finishing.

During the process, my father showed up for a visit. A very qualified carpenter that he is, I asked him if he wanted to help. The 81-year-old great Opa said, “Of course!”

My wife and mother would from time to time offer suggestions. We would send our children photo updates to make sure we were meeting expectations.

It was a process. A strategic plan was developed. And even though the plans were in place, we had to make adjustments along the way. We couldn’t foresee everything.

We made some mistakes, but we did our best.  And now little baby Aria is sleeping well in the crib built with love by Opa and her great Opa. Her tiny frame covered by the quilt that Oma made with love.

I wonder if ministry in our churches might be like this?

Where the various ages are working in harmony to care for those God has so lovingly placed into our care. Like we promise in our Baptismal vows.

What do you think?

Does faith formation take place in strategic intergenerational moments?

“God; you knit us together in our mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”

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