Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever. (KJV)
At a friend's "Celebration of Life" recently, as we rose to sing his favourite hymn, the 23rd Psalm, it was immediately apparent to most of those in attendance that the melody was changed, new, and strange. It wasn't familiar to any of us, so that the only ones singing were the minister and a few folks for whom that was their home church.
And last week I received a birthday card from a friend which read "Now that you're 50… you know what that means… you can start your stories (and devotionals) with 'Back in My Day'." So here goes.
Back in my day, there was only one version of the Bible; the melodies of the hymns were constant…and no one minded that they were called 'hymns'. Back in my day no one minded either that God was referred to in the male gender, or that people were referred to as 'mankind'. Back in my day there was no movement afoot to reword things.
That's not to say things were right or perfect back in my day. In fact, back in my day children were to be seen and not heard; people were discouraged from bringing babies and little children to church lest they distract the minister or upset the congregation. Better to leave them with a sitter or take them to the nursery.
Back in my day, the minister didn't call the little kids up to the front of the church, tell them a story and let them exclaim their joy with glee, or let them know that they had something worth saying, to share with everyone.
So, there are some things from back in my day: for which some of us still long, such as the melody of a familiar old Psalm, and there are other things from back in my day which are best left back there, such as disregarding the contribution that kids continue to make. There is one thing that was the same back in my day, in my parents' day, in the days before and for all the days hereafter, as stated in Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever."
Prayer: We give thanks O Lord, for being the constant in our lives. Yesterday, today and forevermore. In Your name we pray. Amen.