Summary: We all have a sense of generational breach… but God calls us into generational blessing.
Series: Living in the Blessing
November 21, 2010
Summary – We all have a sense of generational breach… but God calls us into generational blessing. God sees something valuable in young and old. (Younger have natural openness and strength. Older have life-giving provision and life-guiding wisdom.) While parents are told of the significance of blessing children… and children blessing parents… more generally we are called as older in life to bless younger in life and younger in life to bless older in life. Gathering concludes with a final stated blessing between each.
Intro – From Generational Breach … to Generational Blessing
Today we‟re concluding our series focused on the blessing God has for us as our eternal Father… and how we can in turn bless others.
We began hearing the central story which Jesus told of a prodigal son… central to the story is the Father‟s blessing… that is what Jesus has come to restore.
But it is also a story of a YOUNGER son… walking away from his family… and an OLDER brother… dismissing and denouncing him in response.
This reflects a great tragedy… which is the blessing that is often lost between generations.
It was the Father who blessed both. And in the household of God… we discover a value that is unique to those of younger years… and to those of older years.
Today we are going to conclude our series with the unique blessing between generations… between those younger in life and those older in life.
To bless is to „affirm God‟s gifts and potential in another.”
Many of us have some familiarity with God‟s call for children to bless their parents… and parents to bless their children. What we discover is that there is a broader blessing that transcends family. There is a blessing of one generation to another. Parents are to bless their children… and certainly have the primary role in doing so… but all of God‟s people were to bless the next generation. Jesus who had no children of his own… yet blessed the children who were brought to him. In a similar way…. children are to bless their parents… but all who were younger were to bless and honor those older.
So today… we are going to consider what is to be honored and blessed in each generation… each stage of life… and then close by sharing in a blessing across the generations.
If we are going to bless what each stage reflects that is special… we are going to have to realize that the other stages are just that… a different stage not a different species.
One challenge we all face is that we tend to identify so much with the age that we are… that we see everyone else as completely different. We become so identified with our experience of life at a particular age that we become separated from others by it.
When very young – older adults like our parents, are caretakers… gods… and often gods that we beckon (… which can beg the question… who really is the god of the system.)
Come into adolescence and our teenage years.. .and we think older adults are still responsible to provide for us… but a bit „behind the times‟… not so quick to understand what‟s „in‟. (My kids call it the „dinosaur age.‟)
Young adult years – now those younger seem a bit silly… and those older need to give us our turn to run things.
Adult years – We begin to see children as a gift…. and our parents generation seems a little wiser than we probably saw before… but those just behind us… a bit more ignorant, idealistic, and impulsive than they realize.
Later adult years – can bring a mixture of peace and regrets…mostly realizing how rich life is and seeing others as missing what maters most.
All of this creates the „generation gap‟ we have all known so well.
We are a human family…but when we are not bound in relationship to God… we are left with a lot that separates us.
There are three issues that tend to separate us.
One issue is that of changing styles and perspectives. When we think about a generation gap… often we think of how styles and perspective change. That really shouldn‟t surprise us. Changes in style reflects something fun… we are always trying to form a sense of style in life. The simple truth is that beneath all our sense about styles… we all really just want to belong… to be accepted and belong. (So many schools have turned back towards uniforms… because it allows kids so much freedom to focus on what really matters…. to save so much energy spent trying to belong. I‟m not going to propose uniforms… God values our creative expression in clothing and music. What will really help us is realizing that belonging comes from having the same source… not the same style.