Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. - 1 Timothy 4:12
If you, dear reader, are young and struggling to prove that you’re capable and worthy of respect, this reflection is for you. If you’re so old that many people look right through you, this reflection is also for you. These words are for anyone who’s ever felt overlooked, underestimated, disrespected, mistreated, or ignored because of their age—and I’m guessing that includes most of us. What I’m trying to say is this: In Christ there is no longer young or old or middle-aged. In Christ there is no Baby Boomer or Gen X, Millennial, Gen Z, or Gen Alpha designations. There are no generations, for all of us are one in Christ Jesus. And wouldn’t it be great if we actually lived out that good news? For Timothy, a surrogate of the apostle Paul, the issue was youth. Would folks honor the gifts and respect the teachings of a young person? Do we honor the energy, seek out the perspectives, listen to, respect, and elevate our youth? Do we put them in positions of authority? Do those of us who are older recognize the younger, more diverse, tattooed, activist, open-minded, creation-centered, and less traditional generations as the prophets they are? And … do those of us who are younger respect the wisdom and experience of those who are older? Whatever age we are, may we all be ageless and beloved in Christ.
Prayer: “In Christ there is no east or west,” in Christ no young or old, “but one community of love throughout the whole wide earth.” May it be so. Amen.