Across two weeks, straddling the end of May and the beginning of June, Dr Stone considers both youth and old age. Introducing her theme, she writes:
'In all senses, God's perspective on age stands against that of contemporary society. While our world today values the potential of youth, in the scriptures we find countless stories of extraordinary events and moments taking place in the lives of those who are middle-aged and elderly. In God's economy, anything is possible!'
'This is a great encouragement to us as we journey through life and face the temptation to imagine that our best days are behind us or to be anxious about the future. Our lives do not have to be limited by the social or cultural expectations of what should happen at particular times in our lives, even when we have adopted those same expectations. As in the cases of Sarah, Anna and Caleb, God is able to bring to fruition those things we hope and pray for, even if it takes longer than we might have expected.'
Embarking on her fortnight's worth of readings, she reflects on part of
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)
'As we begin these reflections on age, we must start from the basic thought that God is not only present with us now, but also has been and will be present with us through all of our ages. While elements of our past may be a blur, our present may be complex and our future unclear, for God there is no mystery to our story. God knows it all.'
Dr Selina Stone is a tutor and lecturer in theology at St Mellitus College, where her teaching focuses on social ethics, Christian leadership and political issues.
She has been writing for BRF for two years.