Wisdom of elders
Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’Luke 2:34-38
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Simeon and Anna recognised Jesus as the Promised One, the one they had been waiting for. They were not young but old. They bore the scars of old age, but also carried the wisdom that comes with experience and time spent listening to God.
Too often, we dismiss older people as they slow down, or lose the ability to be as physically active as they once were. Too often, we don’t spent time listening to the wisdom they carry, experiences and lessons learnt that they are willing to share. Elder abuse is becoming more recognised within our community – the abuse of people’s finances, physical and emotional abuse. And yet, these are wise and beautiful voices of lived experience.
Jesus came for all people, regardless of age, race, gender, disability or any other human label and distinction we place on people. Jesus saw people as unique and beautiful individuals, created and loved by God.
You are older than the universe.
Before anything was created, you existed.
Before there was life, there was you.
Help us to see your beauty in age,
Help us to hear the wise voices that surround us,
Help us to recognise the gifts in those around us.
We pray in the name of the One who is, was and is to come.