When they are old they will not depart
6 Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
New International Version (NIV)
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This past Sunday I taught adult Bible study to the oldest class in our church. The lesson was from Ezekiel and dealt with shepherds leading the people astray. I told them that I thought the generation to whom I was speaking did a better job of passing along both the tradition of the church and love for the church than my generation. I was surprised to find that many of the class members have children who no longer attend church.
A few months ago I asked my 34 year old son what will happen to the church if his generation does not return. He said, “Oh, mom, the church will go on.” “How,” I asked him, “will the church continue without people?”
I love my son dearly, and I love his wife, but one of the great disappointments of my life is their choice to stay away from church. Perhaps it is because she is Catholic and he is Protestant. Perhaps it is because they both work so hard that they feel church would take up too much of their off time. Perhaps they see the church as irrelevant. Or, perhaps it is as my son once said, “Mom, I think I got enough church growing up.”
Prayer comforts me and today’s verse sustains me, because I know that we raised our son to love God and love the church. I continue to pray that God would soften their hearts and draw them back to Him. In the meantime, I trust, believe and rely on God to keep them in the shadow of His mighty wings and by His prevenient grace draw them to Him. What more can we ask? What more can we hope?
PRAYER: Father, your Word is light and life to us, and we depend on your Word to carry us through. May we each see the fruition of this verse come to pass, that our sons and our daughters would return to the place of their youth. Amen.