Read Luke 1:5-7 and Luke 1:26-28

My son Joel has recently made a short film about our family’s annual summer holiday to the island of Jersey. Many who’ve watched it have told me it made them cry! In particular they’ve been moved by seeing pictures and film footage of differing generations growing up from childhood to adulthood and into old age. You might like to watch it below.

The Advent stories are similarly about a family of people of differing ages. Zechariah and Elizabeth are two of the characters, both described as ‘very old’ (Lk 1:7). And then there’s Mary, Elizabeth’s cousin, who’s ‘a young girl’ (Lk 1:27). The contrast couldn’t be greater – and yet to each God comes close, commissions and equips. 

At Advent God calls both the old and the young. He’s not ageist.

We live in a culture where everyone wants to be young. We want the energy, the passion and the beauty of youth, but we fail to value the wisdom, the empathy and elegance of the elderly. We rarely celebrate growing old. But we should. In fact birthdays and anniversaries should be celebrated more, the older people get! Surely it’s time for British society to honour again the aged.

The British church, in contrast, has often had the opposite problem. Too often we’ve failed to listen to the voice of the young, and held them back from positions of leadership and influence. Is it surprising that so many churches have very few children, youth or 18-30s any more? Now is the time for the voice of the young to be released and heard once more in the UK church.

So to find inspiration for honouring both old and young in church and society we need look no further than the Advent stories. Stories over 2000 years old, yet still shouting prophetically into contemporary life.

At Advent God calls both the old and the young. He’s not ageist.


ACTION: Think back over the last few days about time spent with family and loved ones. Did you really listen to and honour the voice of the old and young? Send a text or write a short note today to thank an older or young person for something they said or a quality you appreciate about them.

PRAY: For our nation, to show respect to the elderly. For our church, to honour the young. Pray that this would be modelled in your community.