I was raised by my grandmother. She was in her 70’s when we lived with her. I remember looking at the photographs on the bookcase. There was one picture of a row of lovely young women; my grandmother and her sisters in their early twenties. If I asked her, she would tell me which one she was. I certainly couldn’t guess; the young woman in the photograph bore no resemblance at all to my Oma (our name for our grandmother) with the long white hair rolled up in a bun.
I knew that everyone grows old, and I knew that I would one day be old, but it seemed to be some sort of magic, that one could be transformed from a young person to an entirely different looking person.
Well, I’ve passed the mid-point now between the age I was then, and the age my grandmother was; and I see it isn’t magic! It’s a slow process of aging that changes us. Perhaps that is even more surprising, in some ways, because it creeps up on us so gradually!
God created us as people who grow old. We change on the outside, and we change on the inside too. The spiritual challenges of youth are exchanged for the spiritual challenges of our older years. In our next four Sundays we are going to be examining these challenges. This sermon series, I hope, will help the younger people think about the future, and understand and connect with the seniors. For seniors, I hope that raising these issues can lead to reflection, conversations in our community, and an exchange of wisdom.
This week’s prayer: Lord, help us to grow old gracefully, faithfully, prayerfully. Amen.