I’ve been blessed throughout my life to be around older people. Even today, in my sixties, there are older people in my life whom I cherish. The very presence of older people has been a blessing to me, as has their love, their wisdom, and their grace. Now of course I’ve known older folks who are sour and self-centered, but that is beside the present point.
The Scriptures affirm the wisdom of age, as do some cultures; but not the West, but not North America, but not the United States; but not the American church. The American church worships youth just as society worships youth. I have seen advertisements from churches seeking pastors that would be illegal if they were posted by a business concern for they have age requirements – they exclude older ministers. I have often thought about writing these churches a letter, but what would be the point?
So much for Paul, so much for Moses, so much for a wiser Wesley or Murray or any number of unrecorded faithful men and women who have served in our Lord’s vineyard. It’s okay to read about them, it’s even okay to have them as special speakers, but let’s not seriously consider them for congregational ministry; after all, we need to market our church and we all know that age doesn’t sell.
Well, as long as I’m on pilgrimage here I’ll enjoy the ripe fruit of those older than me and I’ll do what I can to help those younger.
To be continued…