Saturday, September 16, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God’s Unfailing Faithfulness to Older Adults
Luke 1: 5 - 7
 Vs. 6. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.  
 In today’s passage, Gospel writer Luke presents an older adult couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, as someone who provides historical perspective, sense of continuity, prayer support, and wisdom. This older adult couple paints a picture of God’s unfailing love for those who are well advanced in years. Once again this older adult couple reminds us that age is not a factor for God to include anyone in His plan of salvation history. In this passage two important things that matter helped them to face their older adult years with grace and joy.  Spirituality and community support were integral part in their old age years.
 Spirituality Matters : Even though they were old and well advanced in years they still walked blameless before the Lord.  They regularly attended temple worship. Blameless does not imply sinlessness, but someone who faithfully responds to their understanding of God’s will and ways. In the Old Testament we see the examples of Noah and Job. This phrase is included to show that this couple is experiencing childlessness because of physical problems and not spiritual ones. The scripture says that they are righteous couple.  No matter what happened in their lives, they still walked with the Lord. Whether we receive what we want or not, can we still walk with the Lord in all seasons of lives? Later in this chapter we see that Zechariah and Elizabeth became righteous not because of law but by faith. Apostle Paul says, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17. We too can become righteous by faith in the living God who sanctifies, redeems, and sustains us.
Community Matters:  In the old age,  a sense of belongingness to a community matters, because they want to be loved, respected, listened to, and protected. Luke is presenting these older adults in a community setting with clear identities. Zechariah’s name meant “remembered by YAHWEH”. He was one of the priests of the Abijah division of Levites.  Only four of the twenty- four divisions of Levites returned from the Exile (1 Chr. 24: 7-18) and Abijah’s division was one among them. Elizabeth in Hebrew means ‘my God is an oath or God fully satisfies’. She was also from the priestly family of Aaron. Today we live in a busy world where the elderly people are neglected. Today’s culture is to use everything and throwing away the useless. Elderly people are very often considered as useless. Many of the elderly people spend their last days of life in nursing homes and destitute homes where they feel emotional emptiness due to lack of relationships. Our life is a debt to many people.
 PRAYER
Lord we thank you for the gift of older adults. Help us to cherish them for their faith and provide them a community.
 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
  Let us praise God for all the older adults who became the cause of our lives and who labored for our lives.
Rev. Biju P Simon, Austin Mar Thoma Church