Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How old are you? In what way?

Last Sunday, 24th September, we talked about the expectations on men and women to do particular things. It's not something we talk about very much, but people became quite vocal, and took very different positions. We considered the idea that the God we believe in is a God who wants to disrupt systems and structures which keep people 'in their place' - including those 'unwritten rules' which tell women to do this, men to do that. But it made me think of another thing we don't talk about very much, even though it's so relevant to the life of churches. We don't talk about age openly. Of course, there can sometimes be tensions when one age-group or another feels left out, but we don't actually talk about what it means to be an older adult, or what it means to be a younger person. This has increasingly struck me, because I have realised that I am still quite young (31 isn't middle-aged!!!!) - which affects how I see the world. And we can't escape this: because while older people can have 'a young outlook' or younger people can be 'old-fashioned', it still remains the case that our age does affect how we see things. And it is a challenge for churches to try to take seriously the very different perspectives about the world.