Minister’s forum: The forgotten elderly
As technology and medical care improve, we see a growing population of senior citizens. In the course of ministry, I have spent a lot of time in rest homes, convalescent homes, skilled nursing facilities and other facilities for the elderly. As the baby-boom generation gets older, a significant number of our population are growing older. I believe that care for our seniors is a vital part of our culture.
Some folks are blessed with direct or extended family that is able to care for them. Others have no family to care for them. Have you ever stopped to ask, “Who will care for me?” It’s usually not something we think about. We’re too busy raising our own children, earning a living, etc. That’s why I bring it up now.
The Bible gives the admonition to honor your father and mother. In Exodus 20:12 we read, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” This is actually the first commandment with a promise, “that you may live a long life.”
It seems clear that God cares about the elderly, as well as people of all ages. Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
So, what am I asking you to do? Good question.
1. Raise your level of awareness to the needs of seniors, especially those in your family.
2. Ask what you can do to help.
3. Get involved with seniors.
Remember that all of us are growing older and we will all need various levels of care and help. So, while we have the opportunity, let’s ask God how we can help be the light and salt to the elderly.
Remember the “Golden Rule” in Matthew 7:12: “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
– Jerry Foster is pastor of Calvary Chapel.