by the Rev. Dustin Beck
I’ve got this friend. We’ll call him Hank. Hank and I meet regularly to discuss politics, sports, the weather, the usual small-talk material that most folks gravitate toward. But the words that fall off of Hank’s lips that I love to hear the most are those about “the good ole days.” Hank turned 100 years old a few years ago and, as someone who was a toddler when the Titanic sank and still has all of his mental faculties, he is a real treasure.
We sit over a cup of coffee, watching birds bathe in his backyard, and I draw a deep breath. Hank’s pretty hard of hearing, so I have to raise my voice a little beyond my comfortable volume. “Tell me a story about the good ole days,” I shout, as his neighbors probably perk up, and some of the birds flutter away. He talks about his first job, his first car, meeting his wife, building his house—all sorts of things—and he talks about his church. “I’ve been so blessed by the Lord,” he’ll say with a smile.
When I think about Hank, it seems like we have very few things in common in terms of our life experience, but we have Christ in common, and Christ is everything. Conversation about our Lord is timeless, ageless and always edifying for His saints.
In a time and a society that places little value on the elderly, Christians do well to honor their mothers and fathers in the faith. Think of them as a gift from God, given to bear witness to you of God’s faithfulness. For our calling isn’t to the church of a certain demographic in which everyone looks just like we do. We have been called to the faith handed down from the apostles, and it transcends any division that we could ever dream up.
And to the “Hanks” reading this, this is part of your God-pleasing vocation. You have been called, in this season of your life, to live as an obedient child of God, remembering with thankfulness God’s mercies which are new every morning.
Strike up a conversation with someone over a cup of coffee after worship. Have dinner with a couple that has been married for fifty years when you’re struggling through your first year. And you may just find that Christ’s Church is a treasure trove of friendships, mentors and family you never knew you had.