In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
There they stood, at the front of the sanctuary, reading the call to worship together. John was about seven, and Bill was at least seventy-seven. John’s voice was the voice of young faith. Bill’s voice was the voice of mature faith. Both voices spoke the text, but the younger voice rang with hope for God’s continuing work in this world, while the other rang with God’s faithfulness experienced over a lifetime of discipleship. What a gift to hear those two voices blend together!
There are few places in the world where people of different generations interact with one another, and even in those few places it’s rare for a young child and an elderly adult to join as a team to accomplish something important. Especially in Western culture the generations are kept apart, sometimes pitted against one another and often wary of each other.
The church is called to be different. It’s on a mission to tear down the walls that society puts up. In the church of Jesus Christ people are one, regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender. This unity is God’s gift to us to display to the world. No human difference can outweigh the power of the cross to gather all peoples under its banner.
I don’t remember the passage that John and Bill read together. But I do remember what their Sunday morning partnership told me: the church is where we belong to God and to one another.
Young or old, male or female, from every nation— we are all precious in your sight, Lord! Thank you! In Jesus, Amen.
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