The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green… – Psalm 92:12-14
Event Honors Outstanding Older Adults!
I have to tell you, I was tired by the end of Sunday. It was a full day, overflowing with worship, celebration, fellowship, more worship, and more celebration. I was framing up pictures all day long, first as unofficial photographer at WFPC and then as part of my job for the Presbytery of New Hope.
I loved the juxtaposition of the old and the young, with the focus on 13-year-old youth in the morning and then “Outstanding Older Adult Recognition” in the afternoon. First promise and then its fulfillment, all in one day.
- The young people at our church (you can see photos in yesterday’s post, 17 teens say “Yes” to Jesus) are beginning their journey with faith and passion.
- The older adults at the Presbytery celebration over in Rocky Mount are finishing strong, representing sometimes decades of selfless acts of service and love, the backbone of the story of The Church.
Faithful over the long haul:
This is what real faith – belief put into action – looks like. Not the flamboyant show of the televangelist but the day-in-day-out consistent presence and faithful witness of the folk we honored in the afternoon.
Our church – WFPC – was represented by Dean Tryon. Dean’s citation was inspirational, especially in terms of taking the life skills he had been blessed with and then applying all that passion and expertise to serve God through the local church.
A couple of days ago I wrote a column about the sad fact that many millions of Americans are losing faith are losing faith because the Jesus message has been hijacked and distorted by too many self-interested and political factions. Well, one answer to that troubling scenario is to direct attention to the gathering of saints I photographed Sunday afternoon.
Following Jesus is a lifetime commitment of applied humility and intentional service. Oh sure, the gospel looks all dazzling and shiny when it is worn by all the iridescent youth we witnessed Sunday morning. But it is more beautiful still when it gains the patina of age and faithful application, layered over years of practice, emitting light from the deep glow of a heart that has learned to love over the long haul.
This is what I photographed over in Rocky Mount. This is why I believe so much in the step-at-a-time journey of discipleship. This is why I follow Jesus.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.