“Classic” Leadership

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh.

Exodus 7:6-7

In Exodus 7, we learn the ages of Moses and Aaron when God used them to set his people free from slavery in Egypt. “Moses was eighty years old,” it says, “and Aaron was eighty three.” It’s likely that this information was included in Exodus because, in the cultures of the Ancient Near East, old age received respect. The fact that Moses and Aaron were both in their eighties added dignity and authority to their effort to free the Israelites.

Many of today’s readers would not get this implication. In fact, much of American culture prizes youth and dismisses the input of older adults. This is especially true in much of popular media. A friend of mine who works as a screenwriter in Hollywood told me that it’s hard to get work when you’re over forty. Perhaps this helps to explain the emptiness of many of today’s movies and television shows. Our society today desperately needs to recover a sense of respect for people whose life experience is long enough to give them deep wisdom.

When I was pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, we started a Bible study for “older” women. As we searched for the right name for this study, someone came up with “The Classic Women’s Study.” Classics are treasures that have enduring value. In fact, they often increase in value over time. That was exactly the message we wanted to send to our women over 55. They were our “classics.” Indeed, they were in many ways. Some of the finest leaders at our church were our senior adults. Their wisdom, faith, and steadiness were great gifts to the church.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: If you are a “classic” adult, are you contributing to God’s work in the church and world? Or have you bought into the lie that minimizes your value? If you are a younger person, how do you think of “classic” adults? Is there an older adult in your life who is helping you to grow in faith and service?

PRAYER: Lord, today I’m reminded of the wonderful contribution of “classic” adults in my life, in the world, and in your church. I thank you especially for those who have made such a difference in my own life. They are such gifts to me.

I want to pray today for younger people, especially in the church, that they will grow in their esteem for older adults. Help them to treat “classic” adults with respect and love and to be open to learning from them. I also want to pray for those who are older, that they will continue to sense their inestimable value in the work of your kingdom. After all, there is no “retirement” from serving you. Encourage the “classics,” Lord, to lead and to serve, for your sake. Amen.