Daily Archives: August 30, 2014


Sermon Talking Points for Love An Elder Day

  • So many older seniors are living alone in modern America!
  • When they get up there in years, they sometimes face dire challenges that most of us don’t imagine, like the woman who can no longer open the heavy lobby door of her building and waited an hour with the pain of a degenerating spine just to get out to buy some milk.
  • Much emphasis in our nation is focused on children, on getting the right start in life.
  • Sometimes parents and communities can make little or large mistakes, hurting children.
  • When we think of helping those in need, we often think of innocent young people whose whole lives can be improved.
  • We think of how well this in turn will make our communities better places.
  • But, parents are very important people in the equation.
  • Most, work very hard indeed to raise their children.
  • And the children somehow get through the turbulence of adolescence, and sometimes they rail against their parents, especially parents that have made a few mistakes.
  • Eventually, we leave home and often begin to raise our own families, and we treasure our own children.   We work hard to bring them happiness and success in the world.
  • And somewhere along the line, we begin to understand how the parents we left behind dedicated so much of their time and made so many sacrifices for us.
  • Our feelings about our parents often begin to soften and, in the best scenario, we can understand that they are also treasures.
  • But still we may live far away from than and may not imagine the reality of our grandparents and older parents.
  • Picture this:  You no longer have your job.  Your parents have died.  Some of your dearest friends have died or are sick.  You are unable to play ball or enjoy your hobbies .  And, what’s more, you had to move out of your home and even out of the neighborhood you knew!
  • On top of this, the pain in your hip is awful, having sat in your wheelchair for hours and hours.
  • And, you can’t even holler for help because your voice is weaker than ever.
  • What’s worse is you feel ashamed to ask for help from those you love, or you’re afraid if you do, someone will suggest institutionalizing you.
  • It sounds like hell, doesn’t it?
  • But, these are the dire challenges that many older seniors in our nation are facing.
  • Many of us are thankful…to a degree.  We will honor our parents on their special occasions, include them at the Thanksgiving dinner table, send them gifts, and call from time to time.  And every time you do that type of thing, you are honoring your parents.
  • I’m pleased to say, that times are changing and we can bring the 5th Commandment to even greater heights.  October 1st is “Love An Elder Day”, and we should celebrate it.  We can also make sure that our parents don’t lack for the necessities of life or are left in need or in loneliness.
  • This may necessitate some sacrifices, but we need to realize that if we are to honor the fifth commandment, it may necessitate some sacrifices on our behalf.  And many of these will be the same ones that our parents made for us when we were children.
  • How many times did our parents put on hold their own plans to give us the time or things we needed?  How often did they prepare a meal for us, clean up after us? [For a Christian sermon: When Christ was dying an agonizing death on the cross, there were seven recorded things that he said, and one of them was to ask his friend John to take care of his mother!]
  • Helping our parents to live out their years comfortably may involve a little resourcefulness, but you’re resourceful!  You can figure it out!  Maybe get others involved!
  • Remember, the example you set can be the one followed by your own children.  The Greek philosopher Euripides (er-rip-e-dees) observed “Unblessed is the son who does not honour his parents; but if reverent and obedient to them, he will receive the same from his own children”
  • Think of an ancient grandmother, living with her daughter’s family.  As she became frail, she broke some plates and cups, knocked over the dishware, and sent the daughter into a fit of moaning.  She called her mother a “menace” and sent her son to the market to get a wooden glass for his grandmother, but he came back with two.  When the mother asked why he bought two, he said that he bought one for his grandmother to use now and the second one for his mother when she became a menace to him.
  • Perhaps you have disappointments with your parents, and you don’t feel like honoring them.  How long can we carry around blame?  For, weren’t they disappointed with their lot in life to have hurt you in some way?
  • But, sometimes, too much water has gone under the bridge, and there is too much grief in our hearts.  No where in the bible does it say we must love our parents, only honor them.  Maybe sometimes that means to forgive them.  But suppose you just can’t?  Can you still tend them, and desist from negativity?
  • Or, suppose they live far away or are no longer with us?  Can you honor or love an elder neighbor or friend, especially those without family or without family nearby?
  • Let’s celebrate “Love An Elder Day” everyday, taking to heart the Fifth Commandment in its most expansive form!  Can you think of ways?

Contact us: LoveAnElder.org, info@loveanelder.org, or call 917-775-1199.