Has It Been Forty Years? — Celebrating and Serving Senior Adults

Getting older, it beats the alternative! You’ve heard this humorous quip, right? And it’s true. To date no one has discovered the fountain of youth. Try as we may we can’t hold back the hands of time. I’m reminded of this almost every week as I minister to older adults in a growing number of senior adult communities. 

Loving Legacy is one of the eight community initiatives under the umbrella of Loving Community. Our mantra is celebrating and serving senior adults. And in my experience there is great opportunity and need to do both — not to mention the clear teaching of Scripture. “And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t forsake me now when my strength is failing.” ~ Psalm 71:9 TLB 

As a young, fiery, full haired, nineteen year old “preacher boy” in Bible College (forty years ago) some of my first preaching assignments were in what was generically referred to in the day as nursing homes. Not quite the big stage that sometimes is associated with our modern day preaching. 

In our often hyped up, high energy and hypster modern day church culture — I still believe many of life’s most important lessons and wisdom resides in the quiet, low energy and “hip-replacement” chapels and gathering spaces of our senior adult communities. We slow to learn of the importance of empathy in the Body of Christ, the wisdom that accrues in old age, and the beauty of grace. 

This week I joined with friends Haroll & Anne Kelly at Christus St. Joseph Village in Coppell, TX for the weekly Interdenominational Worship Service. I have known the Kelly’s for almost 20 years and they have always faithfully and effectively loved and served senior adults. It was heart warming as they called congregants by first name, asked and prayed for their needs, and artfully presided over the service of about 30 worshippers. 

I was honored to share the sermon in which most of them stayed awake! 🙂 At the conclusion they invited me to step to the back where I was able to greet these senior saints as they exited to go to dinner. I was humbled as they shared encouraging and thankful words. They even collected an offering which they presented to me as their visiting preacher. 

Who would have thought? In reflecting on 40-years of preaching to senior adults, it gives me great joy to join with the Kelly’s and others who live out the Psalmist words, “And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t forsake me now when my strength is failing.” If you would like to get involved with Loving Legacy as a helper, singer, preacher or just to provide the gift of companionship please let me know!

Growing older and hopefully wiser,

Jim

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