Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
On January 20, 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his second inaugural speech as President of the United States. John Garner was his vice-president. On the very next day, my mother gave birth – to me! Boy, was it ever a different world from today! The nations were gearing for the global maelstrom fomented by Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. Sixty million people would die because of war-related causes within the next eight years. The average annual American income in 1937 was $1,788. A new car could be purchased for $750. A new home could be bought for around $4,000. At the grocery store you’d find a loaf of bread for nine cents and a gallon of milk would set you back fifty cents. A gallon of gas? A dime. Remember, America was just emerging from the Great Depression. Life expectancy in the United States was a mere 59 years. The shifting of social sands have almost blotted out remembered yesteryears.
Now we come to this day and time. This is the era of space travel, of computers in every home, of iPods, of criss-crossing interstate highways, of cars that sell for tens of thousands of dollars and homes that cost at least fifty times more than they did when I was born. It’s a different world, my friend! Face it! Yet many churches still operate as if we were still in the 30s or 40s.
It has been observed by social scientists that the typical church shows change in methodology every half century while the average business changes every three to five years. I do not refer here to tinkering with the timeless message of the Gospel; I speak of the antiquated delivery systems still employed by far too many churches. “This is the way we’ve always done it,” comes their cry. Small wonder the percentage of Americans attending church regularly is in decline. We’re in mule-train methodology in a space-station society.
Prayer: O God, as I grow older, don’t allow me to grasp tenaciously to things of the past that are no longer relevant. I will enjoy their memory even as I go from victory to victory through the power of the Holy Spirit, grateful that You have allowed me to live to see this very day – and to be a participant of it. Amen.