Never Too Old (08-02-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 105:1-3
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Bible Reading: Joshua 14:7,9-13
I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. On that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance "Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. Then Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance.
Planning your retirement is something that is actively encouraged for people of a certain age. Issues to be considered might include where you will live, how you will be financed, what you will do with your time, where we might travel to, how you will cope with the loss of status or how you and your spouse will cope with being together 24/7. But I wonder what God’s view is of retirement. Do we ever retire from serving God?
There are many examples in the bible of people who we would call elderly today who continued to serve God in amazing ways. Luke’s gospel tells us of Simeon and Anna serving in the temple, praying and waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Abraham and Sarah were elderly when their promised son was born, as were Elizabeth and Zechariah. Moses was eighty years old when he challenged Pharoah and went on to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land and, in our reading today, Caleb was eighty-five when he finally conquered and settled the hill country he had first seen forty-five years earlier when Moses sent him with Joshua to spy out the Promised Land.
Age, it seems, is no barrier to serving God, indeed many churches thrive on the support of the newly retired who have the time and the energy. Perhaps a Christian’s retirement planning should include questions around ‘What is God calling me to at this stage of my life?
Some might be like Caleb, called to help pioneer a new area of ministry, others might be called, like Anna, to spend more time praying, while others, like Elizabeth and Zechariah, might give birth to a whole new area of ministry. As the angel said to Elizabeth, ‘With God nothing is impossible’.
I wonder where you are on life’s journey. If you are retired or approaching retirement, how might God be calling you to spend your time and energy? If you are younger, is there someone in the older generation who you might you encourage to discover God's plan for this stage of their life?
Father God, help me to discover your plan and purpose for the whole of my life, and bless all who seek to serve you in retirement.
10,000 reasons (Bless the Lord)