This past Sunday I got to preach at Loomis UMC, CA, where they were celebrating “Living Treasures Sunday.” One Sunday each year they honor an older person (or couple) whose life shows what it means to be a joyful, faithful follower of Christ, modeling loving discipleship for future generations. The church hosts a special meal after worship for the recipients, and the whole congregation attends. As dinner guests, attendees are encouraged to bring a monetary “hostess gift” in honor of the recipient. The gift goes into the congregation’s endowment fund for future ministries.
The recipients this year were Garvin and Betty Jabusch, and they are true Living Treasures! The next two generations of their family were there to help us all celebrate them. Over the years, Betty and Garvin have participated in twenty-two volunteer building projects for homes for the poor, much of it through Habitat for Humanity. For their fiftieth anniversary, instead of going on a cruise or doing something costly for themselves, they sponsored building an entire home and invited their friends to join them as the volunteers to build it.
Whether we realize it or not, members of younger generations are watching and learning from what we do and how we live. In the case of the Jabusch family, that’s true not only in terms of learning extravagant generosity, but also learning the skills for building homes for others. Two of their sons are contractors, and one grandson works for Sierra Service Project, which does volunteer home building as well.
In a larger way, we all naturally look to older people around us as possible models for faithful living, and at the same time, we have the opportunity to be such models for those who come after us. I pray that you will be a Living Treasure to those around you, and to those who will follow in the years to come.
Your partner in ministry,