February 08, 2005

Stories of Our Elders

On a remote island in the Indian Ocean, a village leader observed a young boy from the village who complained of dizzyness. The leader remembered long ago, when he was a child, hearing his elders tell of what to do when a boy is dizzy for no apparent reason. So the leader did as he was told: he evacuated his entire village to the hills. A short while later, the tsunami hit, but everyone was safe.

In another village, a leader witnessed the drop in water level of a creek as it entered the ocean. He, too, remembered the stories told by his elders, that when the water draws back like that, it is preparing to attack with a fist. He also sent his people to higher ground and safety.

I read these stories in the newspaper last week. And now I'm wondering what we are losing in our own society, where the generations are so often kept separated. How many young people hear the stories of their elders anymore? What knowledge are we losing out on?

For a long time, I've resisted the temptation to go completely "contemporary" in the worship styles at the churches I've pastored. For one thing, in the churches I've been a part of, I probably wouldn't have received much support; too many people like the "old hymns." In fact, I'm one of them. But I do try to blend the old and the new, because I like the new stuff too. And even though we are a small congregation, we do have people from all generations in worship. Hopefully, we will continue to listen, and learn from, one another's stories.

1 comment:

the reverend mommy said...

We have one "campmeeting" service, on "contemporary" service and one "high-methodist" service. Interesting to note that our congregation floats from one service to the other. the music is different , yes, and the sermon is slightly different, yes, but the Spirit remains the same.

We all tell the Stories of Jesus -- just with a different tune.