For the aged

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We all get older, but not all of us age in the same way. Some lose their strength gradually, others are called to eternity while they are still relatively healthy both physically and mentally. Becoming old is often frightening. Even believers are not free of this fear. Death frightens because it is never natural. God did not create man to die, but "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). For man to die is most unnatural. And how difficult it is to approach death with a troubled conscience.

The Christian faith has a medication for aging and death. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has conquered death by His own substitutionary death. "By this the love of God was manifested in us (shown us), that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9). Whoever is afraid of the wages of sin, may place his trust in Christ and live a new life. He who believes in the Son is a new creation. Outwardly, of course, we are subject to death, but death cannot swallow us. For a believer in Christ, death is the gate to eternal life, because we have been baptized into the death of Christ. "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3:3,4).

When our strength begins to fail we might not have the energy to read God's Word as before. We cannot even always partake of holy Communion. A believing elderly person may be concerned about this. But we must not think about our own strength, but rather trust in God's strength. Already in holy Baptism He has adopted us and made us His children. Through His Word He has kept us in the Baptismal Covenant, or if we have fallen away from it, He has brought us back to it. And even the most wretched sinner is invited to return. God does not forsake us when our strength fails, but says: "Even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; And I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you" (Is. 46:4). God's supply of grace is never depleted and His strength does not fail.