Romans 3:9-31; 1 Samuel 12; Psalm 57
Retirement is never an easy time, especially in God’s work. In fact, you don’t really retire from God’s work when you are truly working for Him; it’s more like you pass the torch. You may change position. You may slow down, but there’s always work to do. As Samuel made it clear that the torch was passing from him to Saul there was hesitancy even though they had gotten the king they wanted. The people asked him to pray as they realized that perhaps they should have trusted God more. Samuel reassured them: “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (I Samuel 12:23) The first work of any follower of God is to pray for God’s will to be done and to pray for others. Samuel let the people know that even though he was no longer the political leader, he would continue to pray for and to teach them. How easy it is for the Samuels in our churches to be forgotten. These are the folks who used to be active all the time. They weren’t the people who were there when the church doors opened – they were the ones to open the doors. They taught Sunday School, they worked with the Youth, they cleaned and fixed the building, they visited the sick and they reached out looking to bring new people into the kingdom. Now, they aren’t as active. They aren’t as able physically, but they show up when they can. They can’t fix the building or help physically. When you talk with these members today, you know that they continue to pray for the pastor, the other leaders and all the people of the church. They may have passed the torch on some jobs, but they haven’t retired as they continue to pray. Today in the church, those who are younger need to pick up that torch. Those of us who are growing older aren’t meant to retire. Far be it from us to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for God’s work and the work of our churches.
Lord, our churches depend on each and every member. Some who were previously active are now great prayer warriors. Some who previously were served are now called to serve. All of us are called to follow and obey you. Give us the strength and the willingness to serve You in the manner You have called us. Never let us retire from Your work.