February 28, 2010
The Country Of Old Age
READ: Mark 7:1-13
If anyone does not provide for his own, . . . [he] is worse than an unbeliever. —1 Timothy 5:8
In the book Another Country, author Mary Pipher met with people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties who were confronting many different life situations.
“I wanted . . . to understand the country of old age,” Pipher writes. “We are not organized in a way that makes aging easy.” The root problem, she observed, is that young and old have become segregated, to the detriment of both groups.
This social trend is not necessarily intentional. But many people do ignore and shirk their responsibilities for the elderly. In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees found creative ways to avoid their family duties. In Mark 7:9-13, Jesus rebuked their common practice of dedicating their material possessions to God (declaring them as Corban) rather than using their assets to provide for their parents. Their tradition had violated the commandment to honor their father and their mother.
Our children, work, and church activities can pull us in many directions. But that doesn’t excuse us from honoring our aging parents by making provision for their needs, as much as we are able (1 Tim. 5:8). When the time comes for us to enter the country of old age, let’s hope we’ve set the right example for our own children to follow. — Dennis Fisher
Providing for our parents’ needs
With loving words and selfless deeds
Is what the Lord expects of those
Who try to follow where He leads. —Sper
Honoring our parents is learned by example.