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Celebrating Seniors
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Photo: Radu Gheorghe
If you have children who attend church, you’re probably familiar with the songs that talk about how much Jesus loves kids. Songs like, “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and “Jesus Loves the Little Ones Like Me, Me, Me.” But after the events of last weekend, I’m thinking about how much Jesus loves the “older ones,” too.

For almost a year, my husband’s family has been planning a surprise 90th birthday party for his mom. And we pulled it off! Nearly 40 family and friends met in her church’s fellowship room. When she walked through the door and we all yelled, “SURPRISE!” many of us went from laughing, to crying, and then back to laughing. There were hugs and kisses, musical presentations of some of her favorite songs, life-memories read by my husband, and a slideshow of her life.

Afterwards, one of her granddaughters told me, “I’m sure glad we celebrated Grandma while she was still alive. A lot of people don’t gather like this until it’s a funeral.” I thought to myself, “And then it’s too late…. The person is already gone and can’t hear the wonderful things being said about them.”

Is there an elderly person in your life who needs to be celebrated? Someone who needs to hear how much you love them, and to be reminded that their life has been worthwhile? Are there stories to remember and sacrifices to be acknowledged?

Let Them Know They are Valued

You don’t need to throw a big party to celebrate the senior in your life. There are other ways to let them know they’re valued. Here are some ideas: pass a blank book around to family members, asking them to write down their favorite memory or story; ask family members to scan pictures and make a memory scrapbook; place photos on a DVD with background music; ask everyone in your family to write the senior a letter, thanking them for specific ways they touched their lives. And you can also plan ways to celebrate them on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and their birthday.

It’s so important to celebrate the seniors in our lives while they are still with us. Grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles need to hear that they are appreciated, and need to feel that they are loved. It’s far too easy to get so involved in our own busy lives that we forget them.

God said some beautiful words to seniors in Isaiah 46:4: “I will still be the same when you are old and gray, and I will take care of you. I created you. I will carry you and always keep you safe.” When I read this text today, I asked myself, “If God remembers them in their old age, then why don’t we?” There are homes, retirement facilities, and hospitals full of lonely seniors. Some who may be our own flesh-and-blood. People who helped raise us. People who sacrificed for us. Let’s celebrate them while they can still be a part of that celebration.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines Scripture take from the Contemporary English Version ®.


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