The Young and the Old

I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.—Acts 2:17

A barrier that went down in the upper room was that between the young and the old. Peter pointed out that what had happened in the upper room was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, in which the prophet had declared that the day would come when young and old alike would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “This is the day the prophet spoke about!” said Peter. “It’s arrived!”

“There has always been a sacred age,” said someone, “—old age.” In almost all religions, power and sanctity have been associated with the old. This is why many religions tend to be backward-looking rather than forward-looking. In the upper room there were young men (I think we can assume this) who received the gift of the Holy Spirit in the same way as their elders. What a dynamic this produced. Young and old, moving together in the power of the Spirit. The old would naturally want to conserve the values and good things they had come to love and respect, while the young would want to move these values into greater realms and make them more widely operative.

One writer said, “The Christian faith demands radicalism as well as conservatism to fully express itself.” Young and old combine to fully express the nature of the Christian faith, for conservatism or radicalism on their own are weak. Together, however, they become strong and powerful.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I am thankful that both young and old can be used in the kingdom. Blend the conservatism of the old with the radicalism of the young, so that this generation might see a new Pentecost. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

1Tm 4:12; 5; 1Jn 2:13-14; 1Pt 5:5; Rm 12:10

What was Paul teaching Timothy?

What does Paul mean, “Outdo one another in showing honor”?

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