Luke 12-13, Psalm 118
One of the main architects behind Obamacare, Ezekiel Emanuel, had as his guiding principle to ration healthcare to those aged 15-40 years old. His rationale being that those under 15 had yet to prove their worth to society and those over 40 were no longer worthwhile in society. Despite the rhetoric, much behind the healthcare debate is cold and evil. New recommendations are to no longer allow routine colonoscopy after 75 years of age and there is much talk among those writing guidelines at high levels of doing the same for mammograms at age 70 or 75. The argument will be framed well as those who spin topics are experts at knowing how to do, but underlying is a complete movement of healthcare of becoming senior unfriendly. Many look forward to retirement as a time of leisure, golf, traveling the world, no responsibility, etc. But stopping work should not mean stopping our worth and our contribution to others. If we are truly committed to God, our contribution to society ends when God calls us home and not a moment sooner.
We read in Luke 12 about the Parable of the Rich Fool. We read of a man who had wonderful yields of his crops. We read in Luke 12:18-20, "So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.' " But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?" There is nothing wrong with preparing for retirement but Jesus warns in 12:21, "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." He says again in Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
We have wonderful examples in Scripture of the right attitude as we age. We can choose to render ourselves useless, like Ezekiel Emanuel considers us. Or we can end our life like Paul, who said in 2 Timothy 4:6-7, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Consider John who probably at the age of around 90, wrote the Gospel of John along with the book of Revelation. Consider Caleb who at the age of 85 took on the giants of Hebron (Joshua 14). For those of us who have committed our lives to Christ and are getting older, we shouldn't step back but step out in faith and reach the next generation. If we firmly adhere to Scripture and have the wisdom that our years of life bring to the table we need to disciple those newer and younger in the faith. Part of my fight against Obamacare a decade ago which I felt so passionately about that I was on Fox News a couple of times, was their philosophy was contrary to God's Word. So as we move forward in our Bible reading Challenge, those mature in the faith should consider those who might be less mature and come alongside and disciple them. Our lives and our contributions for God end when God says they do, and not a moment sooner.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: