A couple of weeks back, after my “Heaven Bound for Singles” sermon, I mentioned to Bradley that my next sermon in the series would be directed at older Christians. “You’d better make it interesting, then,” he replied. “Otherwise, we’re likely to go to sleep on you.”
All humor aside, the reality is that old age is a very different stage of life. The boundaries of this time aren’t sharply defined—getting your AARP card in the mail doesn’t automatically age you 20 years—but most Christians sooner or later find themselves in a very different place. Their physical abilities are different. Their mental abilities are different. Their relationships with other Christians are different. Indeed, the ways they serve God are different. It can be extremely difficult to reconcile all of these changes with a sense of self that they established when they were 40.
At this point, I’m reasonably certain that some of you are thinking, “Yes, we know all this, but what do you know about it, o preacher who is 40 years younger than I am?” Admittedly, I haven’t gone through all of these things myself, but I did go through them with my dad. He and I were very close, particularly during the last years of his life, and I learned a lot from him about the experience of growing old and even dying.
Similarly, while I was writing this sermon, I did research. I called older Christian friends of mine, went through my outline with them, and asked them what they thought. My final product this morning reflects those things, so with much humility, and with some trepidation about outrunning my experience, I’d like to talk to you about what it means to be heaven bound for seniors. Continue reading