Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.
I am not able to get out to church now. I miss the fellowship but don't understand why no one calls or comes by to see me after I taught 55 years, and worked with the youth, and ministered in different ways 50 years. I don't understand. I still consider myself a child of God and can minister from home as an encouragement by writing. ~Winston Staples
When I read this post from Winston in a Christian writers' forum on Facebook, my heart breaks and my soul spirit plummets. How can this possibly be? What kind of church is this that turns its back on the aged, the infirm? Where is the indignation in such abandonment of a brother who still has so much to give to his church community?
A child of God who simply wants to be included, but is resigned to the fact that his only venue now to reach out to others is through writing, hoping to save souls for the kingdom.
Yes, his efforts are noble. His attitude? Forgiving and full of grace. I am humbled by Winston's acceptance of the way things are.
But what has happened to Winston reveals the cumbersome elephant in the room for too many churches. The world is infiltrating, and we are succumbing to its influence. Falling for the fallacy that youth and wrinkle-free existences are all that matter. Those persons who appear to be past their usefulness are left by the wayside, breathing the dust that younger, more vigorous church members throw as they stampede by them. Quickly. Blindly. Too eager to pass them and pass up their seasoned experience.
Leaving them in the lurch.
Wisdom, and all . . .
In our haste for self-gratification in the here and now, we can too easily miss the hidden treasure the elder generation has to offer. And we open the Pandora's box of misery instead.
Because history, not learned, is doomed to repeat itself.
And we have much to learn from Christian men like Winston and others of his generation.
The questions burn: Will we welcome and embrace their presence in the fold? Or will we continue to kick up the dust of ignorance?
How does your church minister to the elderly and shut-ins no longer able to attend services?
Prayer: Father, let us always stand up for the aged and show respect to the elderly as You have commanded. Let not one soul in Your kingdom be forgotten nor forsaken because of our agendas set in our own interests. Revive us, dear Lord, that we might see the wealth of knowledge our elders can share with us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.