The other day I had both my passport, issued nearly ten years ago, and my driver’s license, issued a few months ago, out side by side. I was caught off guard by how different my pictures were. I saw far less hair, far grayer hair. Perhaps that is why verse 18 of psalm 71 appointed for today’s daily office:
And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, *
till I make known your strength to this generation
and your power to all who are to come.
resonated with me so much. Actually I like the NKJ version better
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
because it sounds more challenging, i.e. to share the story of God not just with my generation, but the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the ones to come after that. As a boomer that includes: two previous generations: the GI’s and the Silent, and three that follow: Gen X, Millennials (or Y), the New Silent (or Generation Z), and we should be on the cusp of the next one to come. (I hadn’t realized there were so many.)
My last two blogs have been grounded in language and misunderstanding. Currently evangelism spans six, maybe seven generations. That is six or seven different language and experience sets, and more when you include cultural differences of the many heritage backgrounds of everyone that is to come. It’s quite a challenge to be flexible in our story telling. On the other hand this is not a new challenge; scripture has migrated from spoken to written; from Hebrew to Greek, to Latin, to the vulgar languages (the language of the people). It occurs to me if we should look for gleanings from translators as we seek proclaim the story of God’s active presence in history to an ever increasing mixture of peoples.
Of course there is the reality that no matter good our story telling is; it much more likely to be the way we live, the way we treat each other, the way we treat others, especially those on the margins, that will get people’s attention. And there we have work to do.