What Happened?

Monday, May 21, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Kum Ba Yah My Lord"1 (Lyrics)

One Sunday, my wife and I were driving to a church service some distance from where we live. It was quite early that morning, and there was not much traffic on the road. We met a few cars, and then among them was big rig with a grocery store logo on the side. We concluded that this big truck was on its way to one of the grocery stores in the nearby city. This meant, of course, that the driver had to work, and so did the people in the store who were to help unload it.

We talked about this for a while and commented on the fact that we never used to see that in "the olden days". How things have changed, not just from a Christian point of view, but also how it affects families. Those involved had to work. They could not go to church together or have "family time", as we like to call it now.

While we were driving along, we passed a big swampy area with a lot of dried-out reeds still in it. On the side of the road, looking things over, were two Canada geese, obviously a pair looking for a place to build a nest as spring was approaching here in southern Ontario, Canada. It was time to plan ahead, time for the goose to lay her eggs, and for the two of them to hatch them and raise their young ones.

God in His infinite wisdom has created the different species to behave in a certain way, and it seems that in the animal kingdom not much has changed. In nature, they go about their business as they always have.

On our way to church, we talked about these two subjects some more. People have to work on Sunday because the stores are open. It is all about profits and the bottom line. Many people have now become used to shopping on Sunday. What happened, and where did we go wrong?

Ecclesiastes 1:3-4 – What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever. (NKJV)

It was so wonderful to see the geese planning for the future, just as God intended them and as they always have. It would also be great if human beings would behave in the way that God intended and as the Bible tells us:

Exodus 20:8-9,11b – Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. … The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, it is our prayer that all of us will once again honour the Lord's Day as our Sabbath day of rest and worship. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good thoughts, Joel.

    Yes, it would be nice to have the Sabbath back.

    Indeed, things have changed so much in the last forty years Joel, and in my opinion, not for the better.

    So true. My Dad was a farmer and even if it rained all week and the hay was dry on Sunday he never worked on Sunday as it was a day of rest. That is why hardly anyone goes to church anymore. Thanks for your great messages, love them all.

    There are many who work so that we are safe to attend church to worship now! They would prefer to be with their families. Not everything is about profit! Nor does everyone live in small towns.
    Thank you’s and prayers for the policemen and women who direct traffic and guard the doors of larger churches on Sundays and special occasions!

    Joel, thank you for sharing this thought provoking devotional with us. You asked, “Where did we go wrong?” You’re so right in your assessment. In the Bible’s place, we’ve substituted everything that titillates us. We’ve gone our own way instead of following the Lord’s way. Now we’re reaping what we’ve sown. It’s heartbreaking to see those we love belligerent make soul destroying choices. Praying alongside you for their repentance. Blessings.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for the well-pointed devotional regarding the keeping of the Sabbath and its benefits.
    I pray that many will take seriously our Lord’s admonition to “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”
    When tempted to work on a Sunday, I meet the temptation with the words, “I don’t have to work on Sunday.”
    And I want to remember to pray for how I can best rest and recreate instead.
    For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
    Keep writing.

    I long for those days too.
    Publishing a newspaper I get called at all hours 7 days a week. And sometimes on deadline I have to work, too.
    Yesterday I saw pair of Canada geese, just as you did, in the parking lot of the Ontario Science Centre while on the way to church. I have not been able to go regularly. So now my Sundays will be special again and I am so grateful.

    Dear Joel (and wife),
    Thank you for your very moving and insightful message. You have certainly defined the major reason for the changes and deterioration of societies today, that being human greed. Most people, families, and businesses no longer live to satisfy their NEEDS, but rather their WANTS!
    God allowed my mother to bring me into this world during the height of the Second World War. Father worked at communications for the C.N.R., and mother, along with three other mothers, had a little “home business” making dress for young girls. It was a modest living, but we had all we needed: God made sure of that! And, we were happy!
    Then, post-war, the “I want” generations started, and our world changed forever!
    Now, many, if not most, families are hopelessly in debt, to have all they want, and our Churches are almost empty! Many have closed. All to serve ‘wants’, not needs. As Christians, we know where it is leading, and the picture is not pretty. But, we have God’s promise that our final abiding place will more than satisfy our every need, forever. It is enough, all we need! Blessings.

    Good Morning Joel….Thank you for your devotional…while the basic intent is good, Please remember that not everyone can observe Sunday as a day of rest and not all who must work on a Sunday are doing so strictly for “the bottom line”. Please remember all who work in hospitals…from the medical staff right down to the food preppers and cleaners; all First Responders; all who work in Care Homes, Group Homes and other residences; all radio personnel (who bring joy into the lives of the homebound, not to mention also keep us informed in times of emergency); and so on…. are an integral and very necessary cog in the wheel of those who keep our communities going…and thereby, pay homage to the followings of their faith perhaps on another day, and way. Could these thoughts perhaps inspire a follow-up devotional??
    Thanks again.

    Hello Joel,
    Thank you for today’s devotional, and how I relate. I’m older than you and so well remember all of the rules of the Christians, but very little of businesses were open on Sundays. I’m a Free Methodist preachers kid, Daddy was so loving and great, but he went so far with Sunday rules for us that we were not allowed to take a ball outside and play catch. We girls and Mother couldn’t do any fancy work as it was work. Oh dear, what about cooking Sunday dinner? What about Daddy preaching? That’s what he was paid to do so it was work. I think back on the “good old days” and smile.
    God bless you.

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