Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Reading #4 - Luke 1:1-25

One of the results of our fragmented society is that all of the different age groups get split up, and in many cases viewed with suspicion by people of other generations. So for instance the young would be portrayed as thinking of people older than them as boring, irrelevant or out of touch, and older people would be portrayed as seeing the young as lazy, ungrateful or violent. This results is each age group becoming separated and alienated from the others, with little real understanding of the hopes, dreams and fears of other groups.

We need to realise that kingdom of God culture is the exact opposite of this. We see that beautifully portrayed through the Bible, for instance in the wonderful story of Ruth and Naomi, with the spirit being poured out on both the young and the old on the day of Pentecost, and so powerfully in the story of Christmas. Not only do we have the teenage Mary giving birth to a baby, but as we see in this reading we also have Zechariah and Elizabeth, who are described as being "well along in years". And as the story goes on we read of this beautiful interaction between Mary and Elizabeth as the two pregnant share in the wonder of what is happening to them.

I take two lessons from this. 

First of all however old you are God is interested in you. You might be a teenager feeling the whole world is against you, or an older person worrying that life has passed you by, but God sees it all and is passionate about you. Don't believe the lie that God isn't interested in you - He is!

Second let's look to break down the barriers between the age groups. Let's have the young learning from the old, and the old being looked out for by the young. We are one church, one community, which has the joy of having both young and old. Let's learn to laugh together, cry together and build the kingdom of God together.


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