What are some things that younger people can do better than older people?
Younger people have more energy than older people (generally). Younger people are more flexible and more athletic than older people. Younger people tend to learn faster than older people.
Now flip the question.
What are some things that older people can do better than younger people?
Older people tend to have more wisdom than younger people (thanks to life’s experiences). Older people tend to make better financial decisions than younger people (again thanks to the lessons of life). Older people can do a lot of things better than younger people.
Now here’s another question.
What is something that requires audacious hope?
Finding a cure for cancer requires audacious hope. Fixing the national debt requires audacious hope. Bringing people out of poverty in countries like Guatemala requires audacious hope.
Do you think it’s easier to have audacious hope when you are younger or when you are older?
Many people might say that audacious hope comes easier when you are younger, because you have not been “tarnished” by the realities of life.
As I was thinking about advent yesterday, I kept coming back to the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke 2. If you remember the story, they were both older individuals who were waiting for the Messiah. After nearly 400 years of silence in Israel (between the Old Testament times and the New Testament times), Simeon and Anna had an audacious hope that the Messiah would come in their lifetimes. I want this kind of hope.
Many think that advent is all about getting ready to celebrate Christ’s birthday. This is okay, but I think there’s something far more important about the advent that we now celebrate. We should celebrate advent as a reminder to have audacious hope for Christ’s return – the second advent. We don’t know the hour, the day, or the year when this will happen, but we can be confident in our hope that it will happen. This is the kind of hope we need to have and that we need to share with others.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:25-28
ADVENTure Activity: Go visit a nursing home or an elderly neighbor. Share hope with them. Then take time to listen to them. Grab their wisdom. Ask them about hope. Share your experience in the comments.
ADVENTure Question: Answer the questions in the post above.