Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
GRACEFUL LIVING IN OLD AGE
And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh … (Gen. 47: 9-10)
After birth we move through innocent childhood, turbulent teen age,productive adult years and finally the sunset years. All humans go through these stages and experience the challenges of these life situations. During the old age there are limitations in physical and mental level but these years are not a time of stagnation and discouragement. For a Christian it is a time of accelerated spiritual growth and great joy and satisfaction. Accept it as part of God’s plan for our life and God has a reason for keeping us in this age.
Joseph the loving sonThe last chapter of Genesis narrates the life story of Jacob, as the old aged father. Jacob and his family arrived in Egypt with the help of Joseph. The remaining story of Jacob in Egypt was a story of success of an old aged man. Jacob lived in Egypt under the love and care of his son Joseph for 17 years. (47: 28). The “17 years” is important in the relationship between this father and son. The son Joseph lived with his father for 17 years (Gen 37:2) and experienced the fatherly love, care and protection for 17 years. Now Joseph repays the ‘debts’ of 17 years to his old aged father. Thus Joseph taught us how to care for our older generation. Joseph settles with his family in the best part of the land and provides his father and brothers with food and protection. Our God requires respect for those old in years.
Jacob the father of blessing
Jacob was an agent of blessing in his old age. Here in this passage Jacob blessed Pharaoh repeatedly and in the coming story we can see Jacob as a man of blessings to his family, society, and to the nation where he lived. He blessed Joseph and his other sons and the younger generations. The deathbed of Jacob became a place of blessings to the generations (Gen 48: 9). Thus Jacob transformed the challenges and limitations of his old age into a graceful living to his family and to the coming generation.
Prayer: Gracious Lord we thank you for the unselfish life of our elderly people who are a blessing of our church and society and help us to repay the love and care to them. Amen
Rev. A. B. Binu, Long Island Mar Thoma Church, New York