Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (Titus 2:2).
For many people, just making it to church on a Sunday morning is a challenge. Parents with infants often arrive looking like zombies with dark circles under their eyes. They often leave exasperated after spending the whole morning wrestling the greased, squealing pigs cavorting about their ankles rather than being fed by the word of God (I have been there and done that numerous times). At least we parents can look to the future when our kids will be older and, hopefully, better behaved and this will be easier again.
What about the elderly? Their aching bodies make it a challenge just to walk in the church door. Sitting in the hard pews for hours can add to the pains. Their eyesight makes it impossible to see the projections on the wall, and their hearing has gone so far that following the sermon or a Bible study is hit-and-miss. Forgetting the names of all the faces that they used to remember make every personal encounter a possible source of embarrassment. Unlike those parents, these problems are not going to get better with time.
This past Sunday two of our dear, faithful senior church members commented to me about these very challenges. One then said to me, “I don’t know if it is worth coming anymore.” But, I think these dear saints are being the example of dignity, self-control, faith, love and steadfastness that Paul described in Titus 2:2. They are setting examples for me and for my children. I told one of these people how their just being there was a blessing and an encouragement to me. So, if you are one of those people for whom just showing up at church every Sunday is a painful journey, please be encouraged that there are others who see your faith and your steadfastness in action. You provide a valuable ministry just by showing up!
Now, most of the people reading this blog or Facebook post are probably not elderly. So I would encourage you to look around your pews this Sunday and recognize the examples of faith and steadfastness. Then tell one of those saints that you are blessed and encouraged by their faithful church attendance. You might hear what I heard in reply, “Oh, thank you. No one has ever told me that before… Can you please tell me that again someday?”