The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
A local church dedicates special service to honour the elderly in the community. “In Barcelona, there are 23,000 people over 85 living alone.”
"Do you know that there are about 23,000 people over 85 living alone only in the region of Barcelona?", the pastor of the Evangelical Church of Castelldefels, Daniel Requena, said at the beginning of a recent Sunday preaching.
The theme of that Sunday was 'The challenge of an ever growing society.' It was a special time to listen to and honor the elderly of the community, and to see what the Bible says about them.
"Without a doubt, the greatest fear of growing old is loneliness", the pastor explained. "Many do not receive visits for months or don't talk to anyone for days. Some cannot go out without help."
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND WITH THE ELDERLY?
Old people take care of us, teach us, they have served God before us, "that's why that Sunday we also honored them. It was so moving and meaningful! It will not be the last time we do this", explains Dorcas González, a member of the church who helped lead the service.
"There were more than 45 people who were over 65 among us, both church members and friends who visited us, and they went up front, so that the children could dedicate a song to them."
Lucas, representing the rest of the children, said: "I have the best grandfather in the world. He is an example, so that I can learn to serve God and others with love, without complaint and with gratitude. He gives me advise and teaches me life lessons that I will treasure all my life", he said.
Other children also spoke, and afterwards, Martina, Pol and Dylan prayed for the elderly. "It was very nice to hear the children pray, just before we had all stood up as a symbol of respect, as it says in Leviticus 19:32."
STORIES OF FAITH
Three of the oldest people of the church were also interviewed: "We asked Mr. Eduard, Mrs. Carmen and Mrs. Amelia two questions. What will you never forget about your walk with God? And, how can we help you as a church?"
"All of them stressed God's faithfulness and the gift of salvation, well aware that they did not deserve it. In addition, Mrs. Carmen encouraged us all to live our faith without fears, reminding us that people insulted her for following the Gospel."
Talking about the ways other in the local church could help them, they asked "to give them words of encouragement and affection, to have patience with them, and to pray for them."
The service eneded with a "challenge" for all. Psalm 71:17 says: "Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds."
"Even when he is old, the Psalmist loves to speak about God to others. He does not stop sharing his experience with God."
The final idea was: "How many of you know how the elderly people sitting next to you met Jesus? Do you know why and when they were baptized? Why don't you ask them to tell you stories about how they have seen the hand of God in their lives?"