Seeing the Importance of Life Together
I’ve always enjoyed Halloween.
2022 is no different in that regard. However, this year’s celebration was a little bittersweet. Last night may have been the final time I was able to take my own kids out, though I did needle my oldest teenager about looking forward to the day when I could take her kids trick-or-treating. Sadly, my littles ain’t little anymore. Being a parent is enjoying every stage of your kid’s life and then missing it when that part has passed. It’s like an Overton Window of delight and anguish, always moving forward and slowing down for no man. As the four infants have moved on to teenage status, and only the one is left in Elementary school it’s a bit of a change of expectation when it comes to this holiday. As they start to age out a little bit from the dress-up I’ve had to come to grips with how my own relationship to this day is changing, though if our being in town tonight taught me anything it is that I may have a different age limit idea from others. A good friend of mine likes to say that I am captain no fun, so I may need to expand my concept of when it is acceptable for young folks to continue to costume in order to get hip or cool or whatever.
All’s this to say that getting older ain’t for the weak of heart. Getting some age on you takes some courage and strength, and the more I rain down the echoes in my own walk the more I understand what the Bible means about giving honor to the grey headed, even if I have been spared the whitening effect of age, primarily because growing up took my hair away a long time ago. There is something about wisdom that only experience can teach. Of the many false teachings of the Boomer-era the tossing aside of the mature saints in order to expose the world to the folly of youth has had its predictable destructive “victory”. Nearly all the societal problems we have today can be traced back to the lack of following the old paths. Governmental engineering of the family has continued apace over the last sixty years which has led to skyrocketing examples of what happens when nature is given the boot in favor of science. With the space we’ve got left in this week’s prayer and worship help we’ll expand on that a little.
Titus 2 says:
“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
Now, what does that have to do with the struggles (and joys) of parenting around Halloween?
It’s a good question.
The Bible understands that not everyone is an adult and that not all adults are equal. Holy Scripture is a lot more aware of the complexities of life than the liberals will ever admit. The kind of things you deal with as a young woman are different than what the mature saints are handling at their stage of life, yet the nice thing about having lots of older ladies around is that they used to be in their 20s and 30s. They know what it is like to look for a husband, raise toddlers, and deal with questions surrounding schooling, raising teenagers, or encouraging a sluggard man towards holiness. Of all the beauties of the Church God in His benevolent grace has granted unto us the mercy of a congregation of men and women of every age. Titus 2 gives the same advice to young men as it does to the young females. They are blessed with the presence with older dudes who imitate for them what it means to be sober minded and patient in heart and soul.
Part of the wisdom of these things is it shows unto us something else that we get to see around Halloween and that is the intentionality of families doing things together. No matter how negligent they might be it always surprises me out of all the holidays, even more so than Christmas or Thanksgiving, how willing people are to go outside the house and walk the streets with their kids. You obviously can’t MikeTV Wonka bars into the home yet, so it’s almost the last communal activity left. There is a certain pleasure to seeing all these folks outdoors, even if they might be in their souped up golf carts (a scourge of our age, but that’s a different subject) you see people and stand and talk in a way that allows conversation when everything else in our culture mitigates against that. As someone whose calling it is to convince people to gather together once a week (if not more than that) there is a certain assurance that there is still a sense of that need in the hearts of men. If we can get outside and get our little ones (and older ones) dressed up in sometimes intricate costumes doing that on the Lord’s Day in normal clothes doesn’t seem all that daunting.
In closing, a lot of this today seems vague and unconnected, but I think if you read carefully you’ll see a common thread running throughout this week’s prayer and worship help. As much as we think things are different today, the more they have actually stayed the same. The power and benediction of community are important, and they are even more important within the body of Christ. We forsake these things at our own peril, and miss out on one of the best parts of being a believer in the Lord Jesus. So if you take anything from this today take that. See the beauty of the body of the Church, know the purpose God has given for it, and make use of it for your own blessing and grace.
Another word on this:
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
Pastor, Bethany ARP Church