A devotional – wisdom of our elders



Light for the Way devotional series

We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Pastor Chris Wheatley, PHS Senior Director of Pastoral Care Services

Yet we speak wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before the ages began. —1 Corinthians 2:6-7

To serve in an eldercare ministry is to serve residents and clients who are very often wiser than we are. They have lived through times of trouble and times of plenty. They have seen political division and the hope of a united future. They have known war and peace, recession and boom.

So while there are certain things that we can teach them related to the stage of life they are in, these tend to be very specialized. We can help them improve their advance care directives through Honoring Choices. We can guide them to think about leaving a legacy and adjusting to retirement or lead them to understand grief, even the subtle grief inherent in change. We can teach them about new medications, therapies and equipment.

But most of the time, I would be more inclined to take advice from a resident than give it. They have already been where I am in life, and I have not yet made it to where they are. Indeed, much of the work of maturing is to move from somebody who can do great things to someone who can teach others how to do them, turning a lifetime of successes and mistakes into valuable experience.

It also means that our residents and clients are receptive to what Paul describes as “God’s wisdom” in 1 Corinthians, the wisdom that he states he proclaims only among “the mature.” It is wisdom that is seen as simple, or even foolishness, by the standards of the world. It doesn’t involve becoming wealthier, healthier or of greater status. In fact, it matters more when you understand that health, wealth, and status are all fleeting aspects of life, and not of ultimate importance.

The wisdom of God, presented by Paul and understood by the mature, is that God’s love given to us in Jesus is endless, limitless and eternal. It is so simple that we learn it as children, but so profound that it never ceases to provide new meaning and insight into every part of our lives and takes on new meaning as our understanding grows.

Brothers and sisters, God’s love for you is endless, limitless and eternal. Trust in that, and share it in all that you do.

Rev. Chris Wheatley serves PHS as Senior Director of Pastoral Care Services. He is an ordained Lutheran pastor and has served in hospice, eldercare, hospital, HIV/AIDS and congregational settings. He and his wife Nicole are perpetually outnumbered by cats and Dobermans.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Know God – part 1
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series



Get news, stories and updates on PHS communities, residents and employees, plus resourceful information on living well!

More stories