‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
We have a ‘thing’ going on in our church. And it’s a good ‘thing’. Our senior adults are bonding with our youth. Seniors and teens. Who woulda thunk it???
Jesus would have, that’s who. He approves of mentoring, of forming lasting relationships. And I have learned that mentoring is a wide open word. It is not just older, wiser people mentoring the young ones, though we know how important that is. What I have learned is that the older ones have much to learn from the younger ones as well. The obvious fact is that when we are older, we will either embrace the youth and enjoy them immensely, or we will squander the time, hating every minute of it. This comes from not remembering that we older ones were once youth ourselves. And the teenagers will one day be where we are today.
So last week we had a cookout, sponsored by the senior adult Sunday School classes. We have many functions together, but in the past couple of years we have started having functions with the teens as well. You see, we have made a conscious decision to get to know them, to love them, and to spend quality time with them. Are we not blessed that they obviously feel the same way? Yes!
So we gathered together at one of our senior adults couple’s country home, and we had a bonfire, roasted weenies, and some roasted marshmallows. I was wishing we had thought to bring graham crackers and chocolate too, but oh well! All the seniors brought a dish for the cookout, and we ate well, and we ‘hung out’ well too! Our church’s motto, ‘We are better together’, was being lived out that evening.
We had a great turnout! I don’t know how many were there, but there were a lot of both age groups, along with the leaders, our pastors, and many parents. It was a fun time for all, and the time together strengthened the bonds. You see, we are investing in these teenagers of ours. They are our future, they will be the leaders of our faith in a very short time. They are the future of the bride of Christ. And they are living in very difficult times, being assaulted by evil every way they turn. It is our blessing to help them weather the storms. In return, they entertain us, they laugh with us, and they help us to feel useful, needed. It is indeed the best of both worlds to spend time with each other.
Two of us ladies took pictures that night. It was a blessing to zero in on a young one soaking up the wisdom of a senior. It was sweet to see the smiles and hugs between them. It was refreshing to just stand back and watch the interaction, the joy, the laughter. The cares of this world seemed so far away, as God’s people came together to simply celebrate being together. It only lasted a few hours, but I can tell you, it was enough time to make a mark on each person’s memory. The Old and the New. We certainly are better together!
‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’ Galatians 6:10 (NIV)