July 11, 2017

Young and Old Together in Christ

Malachi 4:4-6

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents. . . .

—  Malachi 4:6

What different worlds the young and old often live in, from one generation to the next! My granddaughter tells me of cool social media sites and new apps she can download instantly—and many are soon replaced by other, “better” ones. With so much technology and texting today, however, many young people are missing out on developing social skills with one another as well as with older folks.

Doubtless there has always been a gap between young and old, but we may wonder if in some ways it is widening.

There’s also polarization, with so many worldviews and political views. From the French Revolution on down to the Russian and Maoist revolutions, the teaching of alienation and class warfare has deepened estrangement between people and tried to drive God from our midst. My own generation sowed seeds of alienation too, simply assuming that people would be estranged from each other, and almost celebrating it.

But Christ does not abandon us to isolation. He has reconciled us with God and made new life possible. Think how rich our relationships could be if young and old talked and listened to each other more! It would be like the happiness when the gap between God and his children is bridged. Can you reach out to someone today?

O Lord, how sad it is to be estranged, from you and from each other. If we’ve grown unable to communicate, give us the courage to talk, the patience to listen, and the desire to be helpful to each other. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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