Psalm 92 v:12-15
12. The righteous will flourish like palm trees:
they will grow like the cedars of Lebanon.
13: They are like trees planted in the house of the Lord,
that flourish in the Temple of our God,
14. that still bear fruit in old age and are always green and strong.
I have a friend who immediately sprang to mind as I read this psalm. Well into her eighties she continues to lead worship, help with Messy Church and Toddler Group. She may not be able to get down onto the floor to play with Duplo or play in the ball pool but she has a a comfortable lap, a wealth of ideas for craft and a passion for telling Bible stories in a way which draws in the little ones.
Another of my friends plays the organ for us in church, Sunday by Sunday. She is a wonderful musician and her knowledge of sacred music is astonishing. She recently celebrated her ninety second birthday.
Then there is my eighty year old friend who is enthusisastic in expressing her love for Jesus and will pray for anyone, in any situation with an ease and love which is quite wonderful.
As we live with the restrictions imposed during this Covid-19 pandemic these ladies have had to live much quieter, self-contained lives than usual. They each live alone and have suffered periods of loneliness, alleviated by the joy of an unexpected phone call or letter. Fiercely independent they have accepted the help of the community with grace while continuing to do what they can to share God’s love with others. For this purpose they have learnt to use technology to participate in on-line services, Zoom meetings and video chats with friends and family.
In 2 Corinthians 1 v: 4 Paul write “He helps us in all our troubles so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same kind of help that we ourselves have received from God.”
I am no longer in the first flush of youth; indeed,, during Lockdown I have come into receipt of my state pension. My prayer is that like these wonderful ladies I will continue to minister faithfully and bear fruit into old age.