April 5, 2012

April 5: We lost Grandma during Lent

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By Launa Rohrer, associate dean of students
SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 11:23-26 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

We lost Grandma during Lent this year.

Growing up, staying at Grandma’s house was a treat. We had our routine. Breakfast always included homemade bread and vitamin C. Grandpa always read Scripture; Grandma read the meditation. Grandpa prayed for each child and grandchild before the day began. At the close of each day, Grandma would dole out cran-raspberry juice to each of us, hug us and send us to bed.

These rituals became the markers of good times at Grandma’s house. A lot of activity always occurred between the homemade bread and the cran-raspberry juice during the day. We gathered, we talked, we worked, we played. We knew we were loved, we knew where we belonged.

The week before Grandma died, I had the privilege of visiting with her one last time. We talked about times when she cared for my sisters and me, as well as my cousins. We talked about Goshen College and how she believed in this place. When it was time for me to leave, we shared cran-raspberry juice, she hugged me and told me she loved me.

The night Jesus prepared himself and his disciples before the crucifixion, he offered a ritual of sharing a meal together marking the group who shared in his ministry. Perhaps they did not understand fully, but they believed in something greater than themselves. While accustomed to Jewish Passover rituals, the new order required a new symbol of joining, of signing up.

At 99 years of age, my grandma knew what it meant to sign up. Even when hospice arrived and asked her about her goals, she replied without hesitation, “I want to serve God and join Jesus in heaven forever.”

We remember, we sign up, we are loved, we belong.

SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 11:23-26 (NRSV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

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Comments (19)

  1. Thanks for these words about Grandma. It’s so good to remember! And what a great reminder to all of us…”Serve God and join Jesus.”

    Amy Murray April 5, 2012 |
  2. I knew your grandma and her sister (Ann’s mom); that’s why I found your devotional exceptionally meaningful. I’m trying to be the same kind of grandma she was. Blessings to you at Goshen College. Thanks for your insights. Ruth H. Yoder
    Michelle Horning’s mom

    Ruth Yoder April 5, 2012 |
  3. Thanks for your lovely reflection on today’s scripture and your grandmother. She truly was a gift to your family and Goshen College.

    Richard Aguirre April 5, 2012 |
  4. What a nice story about your experiences with your grandparents! And 99 years. A real benediction! Thanks for sharing.

    Marlin Jeschke April 5, 2012 |
  5. Thank you so much for this inspirational reflection. It has inspired my “grandmothering”!! Your grandmother’s life and and the importance of her rituals done in such love help me see the importance of repeated symbols.

    In addition, your thoughts regarding the words of Jesus to His disciples as He illustrated to them the way in which they could remember Him, also emphasize the positive meaning of rituals and symbols You have given me much to meditate on today!!

    Joy April 5, 2012 |
  6. Thanks, Launa. This was a wonderful reflection to start the day.

    Andrew Clouse April 5, 2012 |
  7. Launa, this was such a beautiful remembrance and meditation to read this morning. Thank you for such a vivid picture of the richness of ritual with the communion of a glass of cran-raspberry juice, and the embrace of belonging. Thinking of you today.

    Rachel Lapp Whitt April 5, 2012 |
  8. What a blessing to read this devotion this morning. Shalom to all.

    Denny April 5, 2012 |
  9. A wonderful devotion.
    Thank you for sharing your grandma with us.

    Kaye Fox April 5, 2012 |
  10. Thank you for sharing this, Launa. We lost Tony’s grandmother this spring too. I think we agree that the presence of these strong and loving women in our lives has indeed been a priviledge.

    Brenda Kauffman April 5, 2012 |
  11. This devotional touched my heart! The grandmother
    remembered in this writing was truly a remarkable reflection of God’s grace!

    Joann Unruh April 5, 2012 |
  12. What a touching reflection, Launa; redolent of Jesus’ farewell supper with his loving disciples. You have reminded me to bring or add warmth to all our family gatherings.
    Easter Joy.
    Mervyn Carapiet

    Mervyn Carapiet April 5, 2012 |
  13. Your Lenten reflection blessed me, Launa. The bread, the prayers of blessing, and the juice shared with your grandmother are sweet symbols for today. Thank you for sharing.

    Martha Helmuth April 5, 2012 |
  14. thank you it all made me feel better knowing
    of Jesus love for us!!!!!!

    bob April 5, 2012 |
  15. Thanks for this meaningful devotional. It spoke to me.

    Sherry April 5, 2012 |
  16. This is such a powerful reflection on your experiences with your grandmother. The connection between your last visit with her and Jesus’s Last Supper with His disciples was not lost on me.

    Elizabeth S.O. April 6, 2012 |
  17. Thank you for the beautiful parallel! And thank you for sharing these important memories of your special Grandma. I became a first time grandma yesterday and you’ve given me much to think about.

    Kay Shue April 6, 2012 |
  18. Thanksfor sharing the stories. She was an amazing woman and created quite a legacy for you all. Inspiring for all of us.

    Terry Shue April 6, 2012 |
  19. Thank you for your inspirational words. I am so blessed to have known your wonderful grandma. She touched my life and I will remember her for a long time! I look forward to being with her and Lois again!!

    Sue Turskey April 7, 2012 |