Friday, October 30, 2015
Greenness of the Spirit
There aren't many mainline church congregations that aren't fretting about aging membership. We are trying to read the writing on the wall but the cataracts and glaucoma make it difficult. I hasten to add that I am no spring chicken myself, so I resemble these remarks!
Sunday was an occasion when the Bridge St congregation looked particularly elderly with many of our younger folk away. I was reminded though that beneath the snow-capped heads veriditas, a greenness of the spirit, flourishes.
During coffee time following worship a lovely senior said that she had been waiting to tell me that she read my Thanksgiving sermon on her phone while sitting in a bar in Venice, sipping a single malt whiskey. Then she laughed heartily and I joined in. She said she hoped I wasn't offended but I don't think she cared, and I'm delighted.
I went on to the hospital where another elderly soul is in the Intensive Care Unit with congestive heart failure. Her condition is serious but she is still feisty. We talked about the results of the election and she told me about the candidates meeting at her seniors' residence. The new candidate for the defeated government didn't measure up in her estimation when she asked questions about his party's health platform. She looked him in the eye and sniffed "you know that slogan, 'just not ready?'..." Again, I laughed out loud.
We finished up at the birthday party for a 90-year-old who nearly perished several years ago but was holding court for visitors at her daughter's home. Impressive.
We don't want to wither on Christ's vine, and the future does seem uncertain for us at times because we are getting so darn old. It shouldn't block our vision of those who still want to experience abundant life in every way.
Are there lots of seniors in your church? Too many? Can there be too many? Are they celebrated as a gift rather than a liability?
Here's to veriditas!