The End Of An Era

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Once In Royal David's City"1 (Lyrics)

For over twenty years, I have delivered one of the two free community newspapers in our town. They were both originally published three times a week, but that has recently been cut to two editions, undoubtedly because of diminishing advertising revenue in print media generally. I have thought for some time that having two competing newspapers in our town was probably not economically viable. Well, last Tuesday, I discovered that back in October, the conglomerates that own our two newspapers negotiated a deal: four papers published by one company were swapped for six published by the other. The sale was to be completed last Saturday. The note that came with my stack of papers last Tuesday said that I would no longer be contracted "after the Tuesday, December 3rd edition delivery": today! The implication is that the newspaper is going to be shut down immediately.

As I was walking my route for my second-last delivery last Thursday, I thought about all the people who are going to be affected by this cutback: the newspaper employees, advertisers, printers, newsprint suppliers, and readers. The closing of the newspaper has not yet been publicly announced, and I was one of a select few who had advance warning that it was coming.

My thoughts turned to the word "coming", and specifically to the second coming of Christ, which Advent ("coming") looks forward to, as well as looking back to His first coming at Bethlehem. We don't know when Christ will return, any more than I knew when my newspaper would meet its demise. But we do know that He will return — He promised it! He gave us advance warning.

Matthew 24:42-44 – Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (NKJV)

I thought of all the unsuspecting newspaper readers who don't know that the end of the paper is coming, and then I thought of all the people who don't know that the end of the world is coming, or even if they do, they don't think that it is urgent to get right with God. I found myself sharing, with those who were mounting their Christmas lights, what I knew about the newspaper. Upon reflection, I began to realize that I need to have a lot more concern about sharing with those who would be adversely affected by the return of Christ. Who can we have an influence on at this Christmastime, to bring them into a relationship with Jesus?

Prayer: In many ways, Lord, the problems of this world are multiplying so rapidly that only Your imminent return will really solve them. But until that happens, may we work hard to solve many of those problems by spreading the good news of Your reconciling love and the real reason for Your coming: to bring us into a forgiven relationship with Yourself. Amen.

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About the author:

Robin Ross <>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful thoughts Robin. God bless your work.

    Yes Christmas came early this year and isn’t it lovely!!!

    Dear Robin,
    That’s a big AMEN Brother!

    Thank you, Robin, for a sobering but profoundly true message.
    May God bless your Christmas and family.

    Thank you, Robin, for a for a devotional that says it as it is, and yet offers hope to those will come to faith in Jesus Christ.
    I am particularly with you in your prayer.

    Robin, what an excellent analogy. Good to have you writing.
    I’m going to use your prayer at SS class.
    The teacher always calls on me to give the closing.
    Hope you are doing well and have a blessed Christmas.

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful words from your prayer, I am truly touched. May the dear Lord bless you now and always, and may you continue to reach out to Christians, like myself with your sincere prayers. Happy holidays, in Jesus name.

    Hi Robin,
    I liked your devotional. It reminded me that we can choose to take something positive from everyday experiences rather than focusing on our losses.
    You decided to focus on telling people about the second coming of Christ.

    I have enjoyed your reflections that come to you in your walk to deliver your papers and your walk with God. Today’s is no exception as we wait for the return of Christ. May your message reach out to many who can not see and bring them into a new light.

    Hi Robin,
    Thank you for wonderful devotional this morning, such true words. To be honest it always amazes me how I can talk “faith” in the pulpit and at my Bible Class, but have trouble telling others about the Good News.

    Thank you for one of the most inspirational devotionals that I have ever read.
    It is an excellent reminder that we should be introducing others to Jesus Christ and what better time than Christmas when we received the most precious gift in the person of Jesus.
    May God continue to bless your in your Service to Him.

    Amen! I really like your title because it clearly speaks to what is happening in the world around us; no doubt we should be watchful because the signs are evident for our Lord’s return. What a great advent message reminding us of this blessed hope. Thank you Robin for sharing what God has placed in your heart.

    Hi Robin;
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. Amen to your prayer.
    Just a thought: What if Jesus was here already and we are too blind to see? We would indeed treat our fellow human beings differently, e.g. the prisoner, the homeless men, women and children, etc.

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you for your message of sadness and light. Sad, because the readers of your community will be without a paper and sad for those who are without God. Light, because of our Lord’s 2nd Advent, when He will bring His promise of eternal life.
    And, thank you for your faithful work with the Daily and it’s authors.
    May you have a blessed Advent season.

    Hi Robin,
    Thank you for this excellent devotional that highlights the importance of sharing Christ and His plan of salvation with our neighbours and people in society. My heart, as a Christian really goes out to people who suffer layoffs as a result of plant and other closures (particularly LAYOFFS AT CHRISTMAS TIME). I know of someone who volunteers on a prayer line at a major ministry who has said that SUICIDE calls increase a lot at this time of year. Let us pray for EMPLOYERS to not lay off at all during the month of December, while above all praying that people may come to know Jesus as Lord this Christmas season.

    Dear Robin, I thought of your mother today-I wondered how she was or is.
    Your father very much influenced my faith walk. He was very like my own father. Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season. Please give our regards to your family.

    Thank you Robin for reminding us that the Lord is coming. Blessings.

    Hi Robin,
    Just a note to express my thanks to you for the wonderful devotional yesterday. It was appropriate, spiritual and challenging. It was one of the best ever on the site.

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you do much for the wonderful words from your prayer. I am truly touched. May the dear Lord bless you now and always, and may you continue to reach out to Christians, like myself with your sincere prayers. Happy holidays, in Jesus name.

    Good Evening Robin:
    Another challenging and haunting message. Haunting because I am certainly guilty of not being as zealous, as I was in my youth, in speaking to folks concerning their relationship with the Lord. We seem to get so busy with the every day hustle and bustle of life that we often forget we are the ones Christ is depending on to spread His wonderful gospel to those who surround us and do not know Him as Savior and Lord.
    Once again thank you for words of wisdom and challenge.

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