The February 1, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer has been published and is arriving in the mail. Ours came this past Saturday, and today I would like to begin this month by highlighting a few articles in this issue.
I might start by saying that there is a fine variety of edifying content in this “SB” – see the image of the front cover here for details (click to enlarge); but one article that I call your special attention to in this post is that penned by Mrs. Margaret Laning (wife of Rev.James Laning, Hull IA PRC). She is a contributor to the rubric “When Thou Sittest in Thine House”, and this time she has written a wonderful piece about the value of the elderly saints in the church, and how the younger members – especially teenagers – would benefit from paying attention to them.
Here is one such paragraph of sound advice from her article “Renewed in Old Age”:
The younger will greatly benefit from the older saints’ wisdom. Many years have they prayerfully studied God’s Word and applied its principles to everyday life. The older saints have experience. By God’s grace they have learned from toil and sweat, from relationships, from good decisions and bad, from the grief of sin and the ‘hard knocks’ that follow, and from the liberating path of repentance. They are skilled problem-solvers and graced with contentment with the unsolvable, trusting in the Lord’s perfect will. It is good to bring this out to our children: listen to the older saints and learn. Put away your texting and entertainment, and fellowship with them. Show them your love, respect, and express why they are valuable to you (209).
I believe there’s wisdom in that advice, don’t you, young people? When was the last time you stopped to greet and talk with an older member of your congregation after the service? Did you ever go with your friends to a nursing home and visit with a widow or widower? Have you made an effort to spend time with your own grandparents lately?
These are things for all of us in the church to think about. I know Mrs. Laning’s article made me think about my own attention to the aged saints in my church. Do we really count them valuable? Then let’s show them.