Scripture: Job 29:Job again took up his discourse and said: 2 “O that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; 3 when his lamp shone over my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4 when I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; 5 when the Almighty was still with me, when my children were around me; 6 when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil! 7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, 8 the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose up and stood.”
Observation: Job is reminiscing about the good old days when things were going his way, before tragic events began to unfold.
Application: I’m at a conference this week with a group of church leaders, including a number of Millenials (persons under age 35). Some of them are pastors, but many are not. I’m interested to hear how these young people view the state of the church. And the world. With older people I often hear discussion not unlike our passage from Job. People recall fondly the days when culture mostly embraced the church. When Wednesday and Sundays were often considered off-limits for various activities so people could participate in church life. When church was often the center of social activity in smaller communities. When clergy were respected by church and non-church folk alike.
Not any more.
The world has changed radically and the church has been slow to adapt. I have been slow to adapt. And since these young leaders are part of the future of the church, I’m looking forward to listening. And learning.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it’s easy to remember the “good old days” and wish we could go back in time. But we can’t. So give us grace to embrace the present and the future. Help me this week really listen and learn from young people who have much to teach me. Amen.