“The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray hair”(Proverbs 20:29 NKJV). Those who are young have strength, energy, and passion. (Just ask the teachers who this week have welcomed back such dynamic students to their classroom!) Young men and women add a special dimension of life and vitality to any context. Older people, on the other hand, are noted for their “gray hair.” Now before you dismiss this statement about the more mature in our midst, let me attempt to clarify what I believe the Proverb writer intended. He wasn’t talking simply about hair . . . although I would be very happy if the Lord would allow me to keep mine until I was older! (Unfortunately, at the rate I am going, I will never be able to use the blue rinse that I always planned to use on my flowing locks!) I believe the biblical author was highlighting the wisdom of older people. The “gray hair” underscored life experiences that had brought wisdom into their lives. So get this . . . younger people bring strength and energy while older people contribute wisdom and guidance. Sounds like a complementary relationship, doesn’t it? I’ve always contended that we need all generations within our church experience. We need vitality and life! We also need wisdom and direction! To favor one generation while pushing away another generation is ultimately devastating for any church. We must have generational representation and interaction in the family of God.
Thankfully, we at Temple are especially blessed to be a multigenerational congregation. Consider this coming weekend for a moment. On Friday, our college students will travel to Panama City Beach for their annual Beach Retreat. I rejoice that eighty freshmen have connected with us already through this event. In fact, over one hundred and sixty students total will worship, study, and connect together! What an awesome opportunity! Join me as we pray for their travel safety and for their discipleship!
During Sunday School this Sunday, I also get the privilege of presenting Bibles to the first graders. I always love this time each year as the students (and their parents) are so excited to get their copy of God’s Word. We make a big deal of the presentation as we challenge them to make the Scripture a priority of their lives.
On Sunday night, we will also begin our annual Senior Adult Summer Bible Study which will be led by Dr. Argile Smith. Dr. Smith has been here several times over the years, and you have recognized him to be a man of biblical scholarship and relational sensitivity. While many of you may know him as a great Bible teacher, I know him personally as a mentor, preacher, and friend. I am who I am because of Argile and his encouragement. (But don’t tell him that; it will go to his head!) I am so looking forward to his leading us in “Teach Us to Pray: A Study of Luke 11.” Even if you are not a “senior,” you should try to join us as the study, no doubt, will enrich your lives.
So, think a minute with me. How many churches do you know that have a first grade Bible presentation, a college beach retreat, and a senior adult Bible study occurring simultaneously on one weekend? Or better yet, how many churches even have enough younger people AND older adults to consider such events? My friends, we are blessed to have energetic young folks and wise senior adults in our midst. Let’s give God thanks for that, and let’s work hard to keep it that way. You are a special faith family! That must be why I love you so much! See you Sunday!