I Like My Grandma's Church

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“This ain’t your grandma’s church.”

That seems to be a popular church-marketing line these days. Maybe I’m being contrary, but when I see/hear that, I want to say, “I guess you haven’t been to my grandma’s church.”

My dad was a pastor. While being a pastor’s kid was good (in some ways), his job meant that we moved a lot. When I think about “home,” I don’t think about any of the parsonages I lived in as a child. I don’t think of the house I live in now. A cotton farm in the dusty Texas panhandle comes to mind. My grandparents’ farm.  And “home” includes my grandparents’ church.

It was an average church filled with everyday Christians – the kind who smile warmly at you no matter how long you’ve been gone, who praise God with the same words that their grandparents sang. The kind of Christians that, through their trust in God, are living stones being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. {1 Peter 2:5}

The church I attend now is a lot like my grandma’s church. Although the average age is lower and my pastor has learned to lovingly preach over the toddlers, this church is also home to living stones. Stones of all ages that God is using to build His holy priesthood.


I look around during Divine Service (our Sunday worship) and wonder which priests-under-construction might not be here if my church said, “This ain’t your grandma’s church.”

Would it be the grandma who, upon discovering I had left my wallet at home with no cash for lunch, offered me money? When I tried to take a lesser amount, she pshawed me saying a growing girl needs a decent lunch.

Or, maybe the grandpa who gave up two-and-a-half hours to help me learn which of the myriad of my Jeep’s electronics is randomly draining the battery to nothing. 

Please don’t let it be the great-grandma who, as she nears 93, still does “what I can. They’re little things but what can I do?” 

Little things – all of them. Things that, if they were gone, you might not even notice. 

But without these living stones, I might not notice how to walk in God’s Word and live His commands.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
James 3:13

And, without these graying members of God’s holy priesthood, I would not notice how God has carried them since their birth.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4

Much as I’m certain they watched as God carried their grandparents, I now am blessed to watch as God carries them. I don’t have to know exactly how God has carried, sustained, rescued these stones, but I have every confidence that He has.

Here they are, part of the holy priesthood, praising God with the same words as generations before them.

See you in the round,

*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.