In Gather’s summer Bible study, “Of Many Generations,” author Diane Jacobson talks a lot about babies and mothers. Sessions 1 and 2 of the study are about Mary and Elizabeth and their intergenerational relationship. Their bond is sealed when they both learn they are pregnant; both under some rather odd circumstances. Elizabeth is, let’s face it, a little old to be with child, and Mary is unmarried. They have a lot of empathizing to do. As we know, however, their initial shock turns to joy.
When Editor Kate Elliott and I plan articles in Gather, we look to the Bible study to guide us. As a result, many articles in June are about relationships of grandmothers and mothers and daughters. Naturally, some of the stories highlight motherhood and how that feels.
I don’t know that feeling; I’ve never had children. I know many women who don’t see motherhood as their first priority. And while many feel this way, more probably, do not. However, whether we are mothers are not, we can still serve as role models for each other. We can be “healers of breaches, restorers of streets” (Isaiah 58:12) as our 2014 triennial gathering theme verse suggests.
Gwen Sayler writes about how older and younger generations can work together for the good of the church and ministry in her June article, “Healers and Restorers.” She writes, “When a younger generation underestimates the wisdom of its elders . . . the work to which we are called together is impeded. Likewise, when an older generation dismisses the wisdom of younger adults by assuming they’re too young to really know what they’re doing, the work to which we are called together suffers.
“Our common calling as healers of the breach is too important to give into ageism in whatever its form. The work is God’s work, not ours, and we are called and empowered to do it together.”
Mothers or not; younger or older: As women, our role in God’s work is too important not to share with every generation.
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Gather.
Of Many Generations is the theme of our triennial gathering being held July 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C. Gather‘s three session summer study, “Of Many Generations: Mary, Elizabeth, and Lydia” is available for free download now.
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Gather magazine.