Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 10th October 2022: Attitudes to the elderly

God Elderly Loving one another Psalm 71

Reading : Verses from Psalm 71

Old man

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress....

For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
it was you who took me from my mother’s womb....

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent....

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and grey hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might
to all the generations to come.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I recently watched a programme about Dr Harold Shipman, who killed hundreds of elderly people in the Manchester area in England. At least 80% were women, and despite the huge numbers dying, no-one locally seems to have noticed anything unusual. One Doctor reported her suspicions but was ignored. The programme investigated why no-one else noticed, and questioned whether if younger adults had died in these numbers it would have been different? They also asked why people were relatively unconcerned when older people died (as during the covid pandemic), after all many were living extremely active lives. They asked what this said about our attitudes to the elderly.

Today's reading is from Psalm 71. We don't know who wrote it, though it could have been King David, but we do know he was elderly and in danger. He asks God for help - the only hope he has - and wishes to continue praising Him and proclaiming God to others.

Today, I can think of a very elderly Christian whose faith is undiminished. She is bed-bound at home, and has no family, only carers to help. My question for each of us today, is: How can this happen, and can we visit or contact one older person who is alone this week? We may find we benefit even more than they do!


Heavenly Father,
You see the beauty and value
of all that You have made.
May we learn to appreciate
those who are older,
not just for their memories
or for their wisdom,
but also for themselves
as loving, but possibly vulnerable,
members of Your family on earth.

Follow Up Thoughts

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