Summary: Message for senior Adult Day
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: Acts 9:23-31
Title: Holding the Ropes for the Next Generation (Senior Adult Day)
Date: August 25, 2002
Introduction: Today we honor out Senior Adults, and the Activities Committee asked if it would be possible for me to preach a message appropriate for such a day. I immediately said yes, remembering that I had done so once before in another church, and believing I could use the same message. However as I looked at those old notes they just lay there and said nothing to me. To be quiet honest, as hard as this is for me to admit, I came to the realization that it simply was not a very good sermon. So I began praying, searching, and studying in an attempt to prepare a better sermon. For some time I was going nowhere, then as I was reading this text in Acts 9 I realized what a beautiful picture this was and how it related so well to senior adults.
You see, here we find Paul in great need. His life is threatened. He must get out of the city of Damascus or be killed. Under cover of darkness his Christian friends put him in a basket and lowered him over the city walls to safety. In this story we see a great example of people enabling someone else to do what they themselves cannot do.
Paul was the greatest teacher, preacher and missionary the world has ever known. No one could have taken his place. He could do what no other believer in Damascus could have done. Yet he would be unable to do it if he were caught by the authorities and killed, and by himself he could not get out of the city to continue the great work God had given him.
So, we find a group of fellow believers, none of whom cold have done what Paul could do, placing him in a basket and lowering him over the wall to safety. The fact is, if these believers had not done what they did the ministry of the greatest missionary the world has ever known would have been over.
There is a great parallel here for many of our senior citizens that become discouraged because they can no longer do what they once did in the church, or feel that their best days of service have passed them by. Just because you no are not the great missionary doesn’t mean you are useless. The great missionary would never have been able to accomplish the task that God had for him if there hadn’t been some people willing to hold the ropes.
Lets look at those who held the ropes for Paul and see what we can learn form them.
I THEY HELD THE ROPES UNCONSPICUOUSLY
A. We don’t know their names.
B. We don’t know anything about them.
C. We don’t know where they came from.
D. We don’t know their occupations.
E. What we do know is that they held the ropes for Paul so that the Gospel could continue to be spread.
F. Senior adult, maybe you aren’t the leader in the church you once were, maybe you can’t do what you once did, maybe the newer people in the congregation don’t even know of your great past contributions. But you can still have a vital part of the future by holding the ropes for the next generation.
II THEY HELD THE ROPES GALLANTLY
A. Those who held the ropes for Paul did so in the darkest hour of the night.
B. At a time when they probably felt they needed t be resting they were on the city wall holding the ropes of Paul’s basket.
C. Even though there was a danger that they would be caught, they held the ropes.
D. Rather than being concerned for themselves they held the ropes so the Gospel could go on after them.
E. Senior adults, you have been the leaders of this church for many years. Some of you have poured your lives into this church, and maybe now you feel that you are on a shelf and a new generation of leaders has moved into place. But remember, it is not to your glory that you have worked it is to the Lord’s, and even now when you deserve a rest, you are needed to hold the ropes so the new generation can carry on the work of Christ.
III THEY HELD THE ROPES OPTIMISTICALLY
A. Those who held the ropes did so without knowing the future.
B. They did not know what Paul would accomplish.
C. They did not he would write almost 2/3 of the New Testament.
D. They didn’t know that some day he would take the gospel as far away as Rome and Spain.