By Rev Alan Millar
The words of the Bob Dylan song ‘The times they are a-changing’ are for every generation.
Changes always come but not always for the better. Older people will speak of the good neighbourliness of the ‘good old days’. There wasn’t much material wealth but people seemed to be happier and churches were ‘full’ of people thanking God for what they had, relying on His providence to see them through hard times - which He did, because they were faithful.
For our family who lived in Sandy Row, Primitive Street Methodist Church was our place of worship and like many was full morning and evening.
So in today’s society, apart from having more material wealth, a welfare system that will support your every need, what has changed? The simple answer is attitude toward God.
“Who needs God when we have all these things?” (Read Luke 12:13-21)
If people took time to read the Bible they would see that to abandon God is to abandon a secure and happy future.
Society’s turning away from God is but another sign that the Lord Jesus is coming soon.
Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 3:1-6 are truly prophetic: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
We who know the Lord must hold fast to the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ, and not be changed by the world around us.
But as we enter another year of uncertain changes take heart in the words of Minnie Louise Haskins, quoted by King George VI at Christmas 1939, the beginning of WWII - “And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’.”
May God bless you this New Year.