Zechariah 7-8, Psalm 122
In the fall of 2005, John Perkins, civil-rights activist and community development expert, visited Trinity’s campus in Deerfield. I can still remember a few of the highlights of his message on Zechariah 8:4, where God promises to bring the exiles back to a Jerusalem where children would play in streets in the presence of the elderly. I can recall his painful stories of urban blight, but he was most troubled describing the absence in our inner cities of intergenerational interaction and harmony. Perkins said it is no accident that an description God used to help envision a better day for Israel is one of peace in the streets and strongs bonds between age groups. He argues in urban communities, those two go hand in hand. When the elderly are invested in the next generation, and the next generation listens to those that have gone before, wisdom prevails. Thus those that typically are involved in conflict, generally youth, learn to resolve conflict as the elderly invest in guiding them down better paths. At Agape Chicago, we have a mix of generations. Maybe God will use us to help Rogers Park see better days, one where the elderly sit on park benches and children are free to play without fear?