When do you officially become an ‘old’ saint?
Is it when your years as a follower of God are more than double the years you haven’t been? Is it when you’ve trusted God through some of life’s darkest challenges? Through pain, persecution, robbery or death? Is it when you have reached both a physical and spiritual ripe old age and still have a fresh and growing faith?
So what do you get for making it this far?
- Proverbs 16:31 – grey hair/no hair and some depth of righteousness
- Job 12:12 – wisdom and a greater depth of understanding
- Proverbs 20:29 – a degree of splendor (rank, renown, glory)
- Titus 2:2-3 – a reputation for faithfulness and opportunities to speak into the lives of others
- Hebrews 11 – battle scars of this journey to sanctification
- Joshua 14 – a reset vigor for the promises of God
- Leviticus 19:32 – respect
- Psalm 90:10 – a life time marked by faithful scars and a critical eye from having lived well in a broken world
What else? What’s next?
If you are somewhere on the continuum of older saint, the church needs you. We need your wisdom, your resource of experience, your critical eye. We need to hear your words of caution or your encouragement for prayer, trust and faithfulness.
That’s not all we need from you.
Those things can be done at a distance. We don’t need your distance.
– We need your gospel stories lived in the present. Psalm 92:12-14
– We need to see how God gives you strength in some of the most difficult realities you face right now. Psalm 40:29
– We need to know how you are hoping now in the goodness of God. Isaiah 40:30-35
– We need to see God’s Spirit alive and working through your life. Joel 2:28
– We need to see how you flourish and bear fruit in faithful labour with your church. Psalm 92:12-14
– We need to learn from your holy boldness in witness and testimony of God’s ability to save, even now. Psalm 71:15-18
These things can only be done up close. These are activities whose impact are only transferred through life on life. We need your gospel mentorship and discipleship. We don’t need your distance, we need you to give away the depth of bold faith you have gained by inviting us, and our kids, into your lives.
One last thing we need from our older saints in the church:
We need your new gospel songs.
We often see in scriptures old saints giving the church their new songs. Moses did it for those who would be led by Joshua; David gave new songs to the people who would follow (he did this both when he was young and unproven and older with battle scars); the old prophetess Anna, when she saw the baby Jesus, rejoiced and witnessed to God’s great glory. Paul breaks out with doxologies often as he thinks on the goodness of God, the gospel of Jesus and the work that is being done by the Holy Spirit, evidenced around him.
When captured by God’s faithfulness and his grace over a long journey, the pilgrim saints of Christ write songs with depth and power.
Old saints we need your new songs.
Thanks for reading.
This article originally appeared here.