Retirement

Sunday, October 16, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Creatures Of Our God And King"1 (Lyrics)

There is a type of corny joke that's been around for years, something like this: "Old librarians never die; they just check out", or "Old janitors never die; they just kick the bucket."

Here's a new one: "Old preachers never die; they just volunteer for the Eleanor Ferry Resort Ministry." This ministry has been providing summer chapel services in recreational vehicle (RV) resorts for senior citizens 55+ in the White Mountains of Arizona, USA, since 1986. This is my fourth year as director, and this summer, it occurred to me that all of us on the ministry team, except our financial secretary, are old people serving old people. The youngest pastor is 70, the oldest is 85, and I'm right there in the middle. One year, we had a pastor who started preaching for us at 88! They're all retired from some area of Christian service: pastor, missionary, or working for an evangelical organization. Some of them came to us almost as soon as they retired from full-time ministry, not even taking time for travel or other leisure activities. They volunteer to spend their summers preaching, teaching Bible studies, and ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the residents in the 55+ RV resorts. They continue to serve in the winter, either by preaching in RV resorts in Arizona where the snowbirds gather, or by serving in their home churches.

Psalm 71:17-18 – O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. (NLT)

Eleanor Ferry, the former Director, always said, "Retirement is not in the Bible." Think of Bible heroes like Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, who didn't even start their active work for God until what we would consider retirement age in our modern world. With age come wisdom and experience that need to be shared with those around us — and, for many, with age comes enough income that we can afford to volunteer our services without pay. We may not have the experience or the training to be a preacher, but we can use our gifts and talents to serve others. Some have RVs and travel in them to participate in ministries that build churches or to work in Christian camps. Some volunteer for mission work near home or overseas. Some work in local charities that serve many types of people. Some work in their local church. The opportunities are endless.

For those of us who are retired: What can we do to share our golden years with others? How can we use our wisdom, training, and experience to proclaim His power and His mighty miracles to all who come after us? Those who are not yet retired can make plans to serve when they reach retirement age. Let's put our remaining years on earth to work for His glory!

Prayer: Father, we may be old and gray, but we know that You will not abandon us. Give us the strength and the abilities to proclaim Your power to all whom we meet. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <craftercook@gmail.com>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Sharon.


    Sharon, I enjoyed your devotional today, as well as the other devotionals you share on this site.
    Keep up the good work sharing your thoughts and love of Jesus.


    Greetings Sharon and thanks for your informative writing today. It was interesting to read about the Eleanor Ferry Resort Ministry. Keep up your good work sharing the news of the Gospel even as the years mount up. Bless you for your dedication in serving our Lord.


    Good morning, Sharon,
    I really like/love your devotional this morning, some of the old pastors just keep on going. I led a Bible class at the local Long Term Care Centre until Covid hit, I preached there a lot as well, as a matter of fact I preached in one of our churches last Sunday, some 50 miles away. I turned 88 in the summer. I had major surgery last January and I am convinced that the Lord saved me to continue to do His work. Thank you for your good words and blessings on your Sunday.


    Thanks, Sharon, for writing. I expect that many who read/contribute to Presbyterian Canadian Devotional are well over 65. This past week I celebrated my 85th birthday… it has been the gift that keeps on giving as I have had a wonderful time which has involved connecting with people from many years ago, etc. I think our daughters told everyone they saw to write/connect with me. Our son put flowers in his (our former) church; so, I heard from those folks as well…many of whom are around my age and still working for the Lord. This work should never end, should it?


    Dear Sharon,
    You are so right about retirement not being in the Bible. God has never told us to quit bearing fruit of the spirit. As I have aged, now 80, I have many limitations, but they are not my focus. God is. God answered my prayers to send people to me to “one another.” He now has strengthened me to serve the others He sent to me. I may not be nimble of body, but the spirit has quickened my attitude and mind. This is such a joyous time of my life. We are all enabled by God to do something. Thank you for your writing.


    Good morning, Sharon,
    A great message that even though we are old and grey, God still has a plan for us. It is interesting to hear the many different ways that we can use our talents.
    It is also wonderful to hear that people at RV sites want to hear the word of God. I would not have realized that if you hadn’t told us. I don’t drive and have never been to a RV site, so it is completely new knowledge to me.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring others to think how they can share their talents. Blessings.


    Thanks for this rejuvenating message! I need that reminder,
    (BC)


    Thank you for your service here and in other ways and yes, God, grant us the strength, courage, and wisdom to proclaim your message in word and deed wherever we are.


    A great story.


    You are doing a great for God. I am not a minister but play the piano at church. I try to play hymns that the people know by heart, so they can sing them to their selves before the service. I am also old, almost 80. Great devotion and keep up the great work.
    (Ontario, Canada)

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