Be Still Know
Proverbs 20.29 NLT
‘The glory of the young is their strength; the grey hair of experience is the splendour of the old.’
Tension between the generations is not new. Aristotle in the 4th century BC once commented, “When I look at the younger generation, I despair of the future of civilisation.” Long after Aristotle’s day, in the year 1237, a monk named Peter gave his reasons for despair when he looked at the youth of his day. He wrote, “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they know everything, and what passes for wisdom with us
is foolishness to them.” The truth is that in every age there is a huge gulf between the generations and today’s proverb encourages us to look for the strengths of each age group. Everyone has something special to contribute. The young are unquestionably stronger than older people, andI ABS grey hair is a clear sign that the old have more experience of life than the young. Strength and experience are both wonderful gifts and need to be celebrated.
The church is God’s way of enabling us to bring the different generations together in a way that edifies everyone. There is no question that there will be tensions between people of different ages. There will be different perspectives that don’t always sit easily with one another. You can hardly imagine a family of three generations all sitting together tapping their feet with pleasure as they listen to the same music. And yet in church we do seek to bring people together in worship and that can be hard to achieve. I love worship which intentionally embraces old and young. It doesn’t apologise for using a traditional hymn or the latest worship song but affirms that both are wonderful expressions of praise to God. Musically there might be moments when we wince in worship because the style isn’t our own, but we must graciously accept that, and rejoice that the hymn or song is a blessing to others.
At the end of the day we have a choice. We can either moan about other generations and their shortcomings, or we can look for the different strengths, gifts and blessings which God has given to us.
Question: What blessings does your own generation give to the life of your church?
Prayer: Lord God our Father, we thank you for the blessings that you give to each of us. Help us to value one another, whatever our age or background. Amen
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