A 4-Week Series Based On the Life of David
Way back in the early 1980's, I read a little book by John Claypool called Stages. In that book, Claypool reviewed the four major stages of life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and senior adulthood. He spelled out some of the challenges of each four stages, and offered insights for meeting those challenges.
After reading his book I thought, “I'd like to preach a sermon series on this topic.” It seemed so appropriate for the church. A congregation represents the entire sweep of human life, from infants to senior adults, so a series on life stages seemed a good idea. However, I felt inadequate to the task. I was only 25 years old at the time. Although I could offer insights into childhood and adolescence, it was too early in my life to speak of the challenges of adulthood and senior adulthood. So I made a file on the subject and said, "Someday, I'll preach this series."
At age 55, I feel more prepared to speak to this subject. I’m calling the series, "The Rhythm of Life: Moving through the Challenges of Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood and Senior Adulthood." The messages will be based on episodes from the life of David. King David is a good source for this theme, because the Bible covers events from his entire life-including his childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senior adulthood. As mentioned above, the idea for this series and much of the content comes from John Claypool's book, and I want to fully acknowledge and credit his work.
My goals for the series are quite modest, since my sermons will not be exhaustive or definitive statements about childhood, adolescence, adulthood or senior adulthood. They will, however, lay out a few of the growth challenges each stage of life offers-and give some biblical guidance on how we can meet those challenges. People from each age group should help lead worship their respective week, illustrating how we can all participate in the body of Christ, no matter what our age or stage of life.
Week 1: The Challenges of Childhood - Based on 1 Samuel 16: 10-13
Though he is still a child, and a youngest son, David is the one God chooses to be Israel's next king. Children need affirmation and assurance that they will always be part of the family, community, and church body. They need our hopeful expectation that they can be responsible and do their best.
Week 2: The Challenges of Adolescence - Based on 1 Samuel 17: 32-40
David steps forward bravely, comfortable in his own skin (his own armor) as he fights the giant Goliath. The challenge of adolescence is establishing one's own identity without letting go of one's roots and community.
Week 3: The Challenges of Adulthood - Based on Psalm 51
David experiences success, failure, repentance, sorrow, and more, seeking God through it all. As adults, we strive for balance in our professional, personal, and spiritual lives. We trust in God's guidance as we go, and trust in God's forgiveness when we mess up.
Week 4: The Challenges of Senior Adulthood - Based on 1 Chronicles 29: 10-13, 26-28
Despite all the ups and downs of his life, David finishes well and is remembered as an honorable and worthy leader. As senior adults, we are challenged to look positively upon our worth, our life, and our inevitable death.
Thielen is beginning this series on Sunday at his church—listen along at bumc.net.