Out with the Old?
July 27, 2009, 9:05 am
Filed under: General, Personal Lessons..., Reflections...

I found myself asking a question tonight that may, at first glance, seem harsh and not at all Christ-like. The question is as follows:

What is the worth/benefit of the ‘Senior Saint?’

Or, to state it a little more bluntly:

What do ‘Old People’ have to offer?

As I stated before, this does seem a tab bit harsh and unloving. So, before all of you who never respond to any of my posts decide to respond all at once to my errant attitude, allow me chance to expound on my question.

Though it would seem as such, this question does not come out of a desire to rid the Church of all members 55 and older. I do not wish any ill will and I hold no malicious feelings toward the older crowd. Quite the contrary in fact! The question asked flows from a heart that is burdened and desires to know and understand the past generation of Christian Brothers and Sisters.

Needless to say, the differences between the Generations in Christian Culture can be astounding. Though sometimes the distance between the Generational Gap seems contrived, all too often the Christian stereo-types are true to form.

We all know what these stereo-types are when it comes to the Church. You have those who value History and Tradition and desire to stay the same on one side of the equation and you have those who cannot seem to help but change and re-evaluate on the other side. You have the ‘way things were’ and you have ‘the way things could be.’

Along with these opposed viewpoints comes tension. Tension, without staunch determination for unity, often brings division. Division is soon followed by hindered ministry.

Perhaps it is where I am at in life. I look around the Church and I see within the Twenty-Something crowd (and younger) potential. I see the countless possibilities for ministry and Spiritual victories. I see God’s Truth and Gospel being spread to the endless corners of this globe and a multitude of tribes, nations, and people being redeemed by God’s Lamb. I understand this group. I see the benefit. I can grasp the worth.

My eyes then fall on the elderly. Weak, hobbled, frail. What could have been seems to be years in their past. The potential that once was there – dwindled. Where is that benefit? What do they have left to offer?

At this point, the discussion turns to Biblical passages that deal with the Body of Christ; each part of the Body with its purpose, each part with a special use (Romans 12: 3-8; I Corinthians 12:14-26). I understand that Truth and can see the practical out-workings of that Truth in my generation, but does this mean that the Elderly are regulated to their respective prayer closets? Doubtful!

Yet, somewhere something got lost. That something, in the midst of the Generational Tension, would appear to be the answer. What is missing? Understanding of each other (young and old) and a deep understanding of God’s Truth.

Thus, we have come full circle and the question that was asked at the beginning needs to be answered:

What do ‘Old People’ have to offer?


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