Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Senior Citizen Day – Care to the EldersEphesians 6:1-7
Verse of Focus: Ephesians 6:4
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
What does it mean to be part of a generation that sees and views the world differently from those before and after you? All of us have different age gaps with stark similarities and differences. On the same hand, we also can have harsh critiques of each other. Elder generations may feel like the younger one is too liberal or ungrateful. Younger generations see mistakes and injustices done in the past and feel the elders are grossly misled. In many ways, these critiques are accurate in their assessments. I remember writing a paper in middle school on Isaac Newton and coming upon his quote about achieving more and seeing farther only because he had stood on the shoulders of those before him. As we dive into the devotion today from Ephesians 6 and celebrate Senior Citizens Day, let us understand and embrace the cycles of instruction and grace Paul urges parents to follow.
Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus was a formal one not necessarily addressing issues as he did in the epistle to the Corinthians, but rather affirming core truths to prevent issues like those in Corinth. By challenging the people to remember they are all, both Gentile and Jew, one holy community by the sacrifice of Jesus. In living by this and being empowered by the Holy Spirit, the people can live by the instructions Paul urges them to follow.
We read in chapter 5 and beginning of 6 Paul gives specific counsel and advice to each generation of the household. In chapter 5 Paul urges husbands to love wives as they love themselves and wives to submit to their husbands. As we go to our passage and verses of focus today, Ephesians 6:1-7, Paul gives instructions to children and parents. He urges children to be obedient to parents and invokes the promise of Exodus 20 and the 10 commandments so that they may live long. In verse 4 we see instruction to fathers to be gracious to children and bring them up in godly instruction. To servants in the household, he urged peace and submission and to heads of household fair and well treatment as God does. So what can we glean from this passage and our verse of focus?
I chose the verse of focus to be Ephesians 6:4 because I believe it to be truly wise and sage instruction. No generation on this earth has ever survived without the service and help of another. To the parents and specifically fathers, we are called to lead in grace and love. Be patient and remember that our opinions are not always God's ways. We need to stir up a love for Jesus and embrace God's law first and foremost. That is most important! When we focus on Jesus and the cross we are compelled to follow His actions of sacrifice and obedience.
In doing this we create a true cycle worth following and repeating, rather than the cycle of sin and hatred we were born into. Rather than stirring up anger and exasperation in kids, we stir up love.
To the younger generation, I hope as we see the elder generation before us that we remember gratitude. No one is perfect and hindsight is always 20/20. Heavy is the crown of leadership, especially in the home. Parenting is hard and one day we may fill those shoes. God promises long life to those who honor their parents. That may be because the headaches and stress may not destroy your lifespan if you listen once in a while. Just kidding. Rather the more important thing is we too need to model Jesus in his care for others and the least of these. That will continue a cycle for our kids to care for everyone and not be selfish as we are drawn to do.
Unity comes from diversity but first and foremost we are made in God's unique image. May we choose to embrace fellow generations and raise up a powerful generation of Christ followers who desire to serve the least and the elderly. To the older generation, I thank you for your sacrifice. To the younger generation, I'm excited to see you do amazing things In His name. Let us serve one another and be more like Christ each day. Be blessed.
Lord God, we ask for Your blessing and a stirring of our hearts to embrace generational differences, as well as a desire to be like You in all we do. Help us to understand each other and serve one another as you do for us. Amen
What is one way I can actually serve the elderly community around me? How can I as an elder in my community, choose to serve and understand younger people?
Thought of the day
Staten Island Marthoma Church