15th July 2019

Things Change, But We Don’t

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”
Romans 8:12-14 (NKJV UK)

Have you noticed that pretty well all the amber street lights have been replaced by new white LED ones? It was the same some years ago when newspaper pictures moved from black and white to colour.

It’s interesting to note how society moves on seamlessly and we hardly notice such changes. When mobile phones were introduced, who would have thought that these days the greatest hazard walking up the High Street would be bumping into youngsters with heads buried in their mobile devices?

And yet, delve into history and the lesson of history is that actually people and societies don’t really change at all. Given the same motivation as back then, modern man and woman act pretty much as they ever did. So the 14th century revolt over the poll tax by Watt Tyler may be equated pretty much on a par with the poll tax revolt under Mrs Thatcher when she wanted to introduce one. Understand the one by examining the other.

And reading the Bible can often be easier to understand by transposing events from then into today’s world. The emotions of the people shine through—Jacob’s timidity; Saul’s truculence; Pilate’s detached political expediency. The crux of the matter is that human nature, good and bad, hasn’t changed. Corruption and opportunism were just as ripe in the past as they are today. And if a politician or business man can ‘get away’ with something today, generally he will, just like they did in history. Only when the eleventh commandment is broken (don’t get caught!) is there a grudging apology.

We as Christians are not free to do anything we like—though we often slip into the same mind-set if we’re not careful. We have standards, we have moral principles which we are to maintain. It becomes, when we manage to do it even in part, a very forceful witness to others, which is just what Jesus wants. And when we fail, how we recover and change also can become a very forceful witness.

Prayer
Holy Father, help us as we advance in human life, to see its shortcomings, where it falters and fails. Help us to walk each day closer to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford
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About 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, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
READING
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

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

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