Devotion for Friday, March 27
Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you.
They fall into three different categories: The Greatest Generation (1901-1927), the Silent Generation (1928-1945), and the Baby Boomers (1946-1964). The oldest in these categories have lived through the poverty of the Great Depression and the volatility of the Civil Rights Era. Some may have proudly served their country and risked their lives in World War II, The Korean War, or the Vietnam War. None, I would venture, would ever think of themselves as society's "most weak and vulnerable," and yet they bear this label during our current health crisis. It's true; I know, because I hear it on the news.
The label does hold some truth. Older adults are the ones who have the most pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart/kidney disease. They're the ones who are most likely to be on a fixed income and living alone, isolated and lacking transportation. They're the ones with limited hands on experience with advanced communication technologies, those online strategies that younger folks have integrated so fully into their daily lives. Yes, within the eyes of a world that values physical strength, substantial net-worth, social connections, and computer savvy, our older adults may indeed seem to be our most weak and vulnerable. But looks can be oh, so deceiving, and labels can be so one-sided.
Lest we be tempted to forget: our older adults are the ones who taught the generations after them about hard work and about sacrificing for others. They have taught us the value of a dollar, how to save and then to spend, and how to put others before ourselves. They're the ones who brought us to church, who witnessed to the power of God in their lives, and who showed us how to pray.
The seniors of this country are the holders of our history-both personal and communal. They are the keepers of the Sunday dinner, the thank you note, and how to be neighborly. They are the teachers of manners, Bible verses, and the names of the trees in the backyard. They have shown us what it means to honor God and country, and now it's time for all of us to be there for them.
The other day I heard Governor Cuomo coin what I think should be the motto of our current times: "We've got to be socially distanced, but spiritually connected." Yes, yes, yes! That's the challenge in a nutshell!
So how do reach out and do the work of Jesus but respect the parameters that have been placed around us? We willingly choose to obey restrictions in our freedoms so that those "weak and vulnerable" others are kept well and whole. We observe social distancing, but at the same time, we make it a point to pick up the phone and call an elderly neighbor, write a note to a lonely great-aunt, or deliver groceries to the door of someone in an assisted living. We remind our seniors that "God loves you, AND I LOVE YOU" and that they are valued. . .and that in the name of Jesus Christ, we care.
Let us pray: Today, Lord, we especially lift up the older adults in our lives. We thank you for the lessons they teach us. May we show them that they are seen, heard, and valued. We pray that you will give them peace in this volatile time and protect their emotional and physical health. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Deacon Erin Maurer