In the classic British Comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" there is a classic scene where men are coming around to bury those who have died from the plague. They take the bodies of the dead away to bury them in mass graves outside the city. As they pick up one man he cries out "I'm not dead yet" to the shock of all. It turns out the family of this man had left him out to be collected despite the fact that he was still alive. They insist he is "almost dead" and might as well be taken away.
Sadly, this is a commentary on how we often treat our older citizens. Once we see them as having no value, we cast them aside. We think that just because they can't do as much as the younger people, they have no value and might as well be gone.
But I disagree. I think that our silver haired saints have much to add to the life of the church and that when we ignore them, we miss out on the collective wisdom, experience and love that they could bring.
Years ago I recruited a wonderful grandmother named Nancy to join our youth ministry team. At first she tried to turn me down, telling me that she wasn't "cool" enough to help with the teens. But, it turns out that teens LOVED having Grandma Nancy around. She cared for them, listened to them and kind of adopted them. One teen girl even spent her Spring Break at Nancy's Florida condo because they had become so close.
Sometimes older saints tell me that they've done their part and now are retired. I hate to disagree with my elders, but I am sure glad Moses didn't say that to God (he led the people out of Egypt at 80 years old) or Abraham (who was 75 when he was called by God to start a new nation and leave his home). These saints knew that when God calls, you listen...no matter how old you are.
I am so glad to serve at a church with so many senior saints who faithfully give of their time and talents. We have teachers, prayer warriors and even VBS leaders who are in their "golden years" and they are a true blessing to us all.
So please, if you are reading these words, remember that you are "not dead yet" and that God is always calling us to give, to serve, to love and to lead. God calls the young, the old and everyone in between to use their gifts for the good of His Kingdom.
Joel 2:28 says, "I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (emphasis added).
Dear saints of all ages, let's work together (all of us together) to serve God well.