This weekend I witnessed a magnificent sunset, filling the heart with wonder. As the sun sunk beneath the horizon, rain began to fall. A little boy, experiencing the evening with his father jumped up with excitement, saying to his dad and everyone around, “Dad it’s raining, it’s raining! Wow, the sunset made it rain!” The little boy’s eyes and voice were filled with enthusiasm and awe and proclaiming his joy to the world! I was so grateful for this little boy whose infectious response renewed my own spirit of discovery and adventure.
In the God created mysterious cycle of life we celebrate the joy, energy, idealism, and enthusiasm of youth. We also witness the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of those of more mature age. Unfortunately, with age can come cynicism, corruption and resignation to the way things are; but God calls all people, young and old to a new life of faith and hope.
I’m so grateful that we are now witnessing the idealistic energy of the young who are demanding justice, offering themselves in volunteer service and community activism, and pushing all those who will hear that the world must become a more hospitable, equitable environment for all. I also give thanks for those who have been engaged in the quest for beloved community for decades and who have not lost hope nor lost their voice.
In Acts 2:17 the apostle Peter quotes the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young (men) shall see visions and your old (men) shall dream dreams.”
The Church of Jesus Christ and the world need both the enthusiastic, youthful passion driven by vision and the wisdom of those whose visions have now become dreams in their long and faithful commitment to God. In all the challenges facing us from pandemic to racism to political differences to divisions within the United Methodist Church we need the young and the old together proclaiming the reign of God in Christ Jesus. God is alive in our midst! Let us give thanks in the different ways that God can use us in any age and stage of life.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.