Zechariah 8:4-5 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”
I’ve attended church all my life. One thing is apparent: people generally want to learn and grow. They want to go out and change the world, making a real difference. However, there seems to be this attitude that there are a couple generations in the way. Who are they? The old people and the young people.
The old people are tolerated, hugged, and sometimes even taken care of. But there generally aren’t included. They aren’t invested in. They aren’t challenged to go out and be world changers. Why is that? Are they no longer usable by God? Has their time for kingdom advancing expired? It seems that sometimes they are treated in this way.
What about the kids? We think: “I could learn if I wasn’t trying to take care of them.” “I could do more ministry things if it weren’t for the kids. They are a burden.” These are all attitudes that we can take toward our young people. I pastor a church that has a lot of kids. And by that, I mean that about a third of our regular attendance is kids. This requires a large percentage of our adults to assist in our kids program. It’s not a childcare program, however. It’s an investment into the generation that God is calling up to serve Him. But for many, it can seem like a chore. It can seem like something getting in the way of their growing.
In Zechariah, God is describing what He wants to do to restore Jerusalem. One of His desires is this – in the streets of the city of God there will be both old people and young people. In other words, every generation. There is no one excluded! He wants to use those who are old to invest in those who are young. He wants to use those who are young to bless those who are old. So the next time you are at church and see that elderly woman or that 1st grader, make an investment. See them as God sees them: valuable to Him and useful for His kingdom. Let’s not hide our old and young. Instead, release them to the streets!
*Is there an old person or young person that God wants you to reach out to?