Summary: Sermon for those seasoned with time saints. Most notes are from John Faust, minister of seniors at Southeast Christian Church
Evening Service for 10/17/2004
What Really Matters?
Seasoned with Time Series
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a winkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m 86 years old. Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a big squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She replied, “I’m here to find a rich man, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.” “No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. “I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became friends. Every day for the next 3 months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this time machine as she shared her wisdom and experience. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the years end Rose finished her college degree she had began many years before. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over 2,000 college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
A. We must take seriously Revelation 2:10, be faithful unto death. If we believe faithfulness is important throughout life, then ministry must be structured to value faithfulness in all people regardless of age.
B. What Really Matters?
Thesis: For the church and for those seasoned with time, it’s a matter of 6 things.
1. It’s a matter of sharing
A. The church is a passenger ship transporting Christians through this world to be with God for eternity. On a ship, certain people are at the front viewing where they are going. Others are at the rear viewing where they have been. Young people usually gravitate to the front and older people to the rear.
B. Older people have precious memories to cherish and priceless wisdom to share. Job 12- Is not wisdom found among the aged?
C. The church must value this perspective. The question is not whether vision for the future or wisdom from the past is most important. Both are!
D. Of greater importance is the number of people boarding the boat and being saved. Noah and his family worked as a team, lived harmoniously on the ark, and were saved. God wants His church family to follow that example today.
E. In salvation both are needed. In Ecclesiastes Solomon looked back on his life and the futility of a lot of his pursuits and he came to this conclusion. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Look back at our past and how much we have failed.
F. Look to the future. Repent and come to Christ and your future will be bright.
G. The future of the church depends on people looking ahead. However, we must value those things that are behind and learn from them.
H. We need each other. The young have abundant energy and want to do but they are stupid. Those seasoned with time have limited energy and want to slow down but they are full of wisdom and experiences.
2. It’s a matter of reassignment
A. Retirement can be detrimental to spiritual health!
B. Some retirees grab their pensions and drift away from the Father into the far country indulging in what they believe they deserve and have earned. How foolish and sinful to squander resources God could use!
C. We need to teach that retirement from Christian service is not an option.
D. Those seasoned with time do not have more time but they have more control over their time.
E. Think about what older Christian can do with their time. More time to pray. More time to get involved in community activities (Yokefellow, the hospital). Time to spend with youth (after all they go home). Time to spend doing what they enjoy in Christian service.
F. If you came to Southeast Christian Church during the week, you’d be inspired by many retired people who perform invaluable service to this church. Every Monday morning, one of our older Sunday school classes, the Friendship Class, comes in and clean the sanctuary. They pick up gum wrappers, straighten up the books, work in the yard, and do maintenance on vehicles, set up chairs. Many of our greeters are over the age of 65.