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'Rise in the presence of the aged . . . '
July 13, 2009
by Rev. Paul Marggraf, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano

In the Bible, Moses states in Leviticus 19:32: “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.”

My grandmother is celebrating her 95th birthday this summer. That means she has lived almost two years for every one that I have lived.

There are a lot of elderly people in our country. In the years to come, there will be even more than there are today.

The average age of our population is going up. Thankfully, concern for the needs of older people is also on the increase.

If you have toured the nursing homes and assisted living apartments in our area, you have found that most of them have been improved in the past years. Some sincere efforts are being made to change nursing homes, especially, into brighter, more livable places for people to spend their declining years.

Yet God’s people have a different reason for showing concern for the elderly. We do it not because it’s a national trend, but because “this is good and pleases God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3).

Perhaps we need that reminder in the summertime. Summer is a time for waterskiing and hiking, tennis and travel. Older folks don’t always mix well with those kinds of activities.

But God’s command is for all seasons. We owe the elderly in our families and neighborhoods respect and concern year-round.

 May God help us to remember our obligation to the aged in this season, and in every season of the year.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.