@robertkwendt || lead pastor
I am a millennial. Many would consider me a know it all. At least that is what they would say about my generation as a whole.
I remember sitting in an elementary computer lab and being introduced to this new link called GOOGLE.COM. At the time it seemed annoying, complicated, and confusing. Flash forward a couple of decades and the first page that opens up on my internet browser is a white box with the word GOOGLE.
As a generation we have been able to get all the answers. We were able to simply type (or now speak) what we are wondering and then an answer popped up. This has allowed for anything to be searchable.
However, I am taken back to all of my research classes growing up. In those, I was taught of the importance of credibility and checking our sources. While Google can give an answer, it doesn't mean it is accurate. Just Google "Jesus" and you will have about 292,000,000 results come up!
While we cannot seem to live without the internet, it has created a divide among generations. This chasom must be addressed if we are to experience God's will for us here on the earth.
In the book of Revelation we are given a picture into heaven. The image we are given is as follows...
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” || Revelation 7:9-10 ESV ||
Did you catch it? Heaven is not made up of one race, one nation, one language, one age. It is made up of every nation, all tribes and peoples and languages! In order to experience the fullness of heaven, we must begin to embrace people of all kinds. We must show love. always.
When we love those who are different from us, we catch a glimpse of heaven.
there were age gaps in biblical times.
Every age comes with a time of transition. In today's world we become a teenager at 13. We can work in the state of Michigan at 14. We can join the military at 18. We can legally purchase alcohol at 21. We can rent a car without fees at 25. We can become president at 35. With every age there is this written code of maturity. It was the same in Jesus culture. Here are some examples of the age groups.
12 years old - Age of discretion*
20 years old - Age of maturity**
30 years old - Age of full maturity***
Luke 3:23 tells us, "Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age."
Here is the thing...Jesus waited to start his ministry when he was at the age of full maturity. While he could have done whatever he wanted, He chose to follow the custom at the time. He waited his time.
So often we want to grow up fast. However, we must be patient like Jesus was. That being said, Jesus didn't always follow the custom.
let the little children come...
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away." || Matthew 19:13-15 ESV ||
Why did the disciples rebuke the parents from bringing their children to Jesus? Simply put...the kids were not at the age of discretion. They were not 12 years old. It was custom for them to not approach a teacher until they were of the proper age.
What Jesus did was contrary to what the cultural standard taught. Instead of turning the children away, he embraced them. He welcomed them. He broke the generational gap. So what can we learn from this? There are two simple things.
1. the old need the young.
In Matthew 18:1-5, Jesus showcases the humility of children. It really seems he is showcasing their innocence and curiosity.
Kids love to ask two questions. "Why" and "why not?" These questions can become like nails on a chalkboard to older adults, but they are at the very heart of who we're created to be. God wants us to explore. He wants us to be curious. He wants us to ask the "why" and "why not's?"
Curiosity marks humility. It shows that we do not have all the answers and shows an openness to learning.
As we grow older we often become less and less curious. This seems to be due to the hurts we have experienced. We no longer have the innocent hope of a child, but rather become much more jaded and single-minded. This stems from the hurts. We have been there and done that. However, when we remain curious we stay fresh. We want to learn why things are changing rather than simply rejecting them.
As older adults we need to ask more questions like the little children. Changes become exciting when we begin to explore why change is happening.
2. the young need the old.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” || 1 Peter 5:5-6 ESV ||
Google cannot teach someone how to navigate the storms of life. It doesn't have all the answers to fear, anxiety, pain, loss, and suffering. However, experience teaches all of these things. Events that are not only possible but probable in our lives.
When a younger person has an older person walking alongside them, they are able to better navigate the challenges of life. They have a confidant, companion, friend, and mentor.
However, listening to those older than oneself takes humility. It means setting pride aside in order to listen and grow.
When the young and old come together, we get a glimpse into heaven. However this requires love. It requires humility. It means taking a chance.
|| challenge ||
Have a meaningful conversation (over a coffee, meal, etc.) with someone two generations removed from your own.
* see John 9:21-23 and Luke 2:42
** see Leviticus 27:3, Number 26:2-4
*** see Number 4:3