1st October 2016

Time Moves On 

“Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.”
Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NKJV) 

When I was very young, something like two-thirds of the world as appeared on my school room map was pink to identify the British Empire. Today that’s all gone. I am just about old enough to remember the last of food rationing in this country. And then when I first started looking for work and would travel up to London on the train for interviews, I remember the gaps that remained between the houses, office and shops as a result of wartime bombing. And now, I’m conscious that all the offices and complexes within which I worked, have long been demolished and rebuilt. As I jokingly said to someone recently, “They’ll be nowhere to place the heritage blue plaques when finally I become famous and they want to commemorate my presence!”

I’ve been reading about the heresies of the first three centuries. Once the original apostles had all died and the church moved on, there was little deference paid to the leading figures or the mission of propagating the gospel message. The same consideration is, regrettably, given to the church today concerning its current mission compared against the mission pursued in earlier times. For example, I often hear the complaint that our fellowship doesn’t produce magazines and booklets as we used to. But that is manifestly untrue. Go on to our Denominational website there are tens of thousands of printed documents outlining specifically our beliefs and teachings—far more than ever before. And the on-line videos available are just as potent concerning our teachings as ever our magazines and booklets were. It’s a matter of perception. History moves on, and so has the church. It’s not that God has changed, but that we have changed and the society around us, and God always meets us where we are.

Don’t seek to return the church and people—even yourself—to the way we were. That’s history, and history is recorded in books and in our memories. Our lives, as we live them today, are recorded in what people see and what people know about us. Christians are the living light of witness to this world. Our witness, too, has needed to change so that we meet the nations and peoples of this world where they are and not where we might like them to be.

Regrettably, often it’s not a pretty concept to behold. Christianity seemingly is under more and more pressure in this world. That means we need to be ever closer to our God if we are going to end up the right side, the Lord’s side, to enter and be a part of his kingdom.

Majestic and timeless Father, our world changes, and usually not for the better. Help us to look to you and your eternal standards. That way we can move on and become ever closer to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford


johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School,
6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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