Summary: Adapted from [Change} Smelly Socks the Sermon, this is a sermon for use in rest homes. Again it touchs on teh point that Christchurch our city having been hit by a series of earthquakes is by and large being demolished and rebuilt. Alot for the elderly to
Rest Home service sermon.
If you were born on 1937 and I guess that some of you may have been. There was a fair number of interesting things that happened in that year, my own parents were born, if you were born prior to 1937 you will probably remember this stuff. Disney released “Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s”, The Hindenburg Airship burst into flames,, you could buy a pair of Ladies Oxford shoes for around $1.20, A packet of Kellogg’s Cornflakes for about 6 cents and a petrol powered washing machine for about $46.00. All these values have been changed from pounds, shillings and pence. But the real big news for the year was the Abdication of Edward VIII on the 3rd of June.
New Zealand’s population was around 1.6 million. The first tenants of [New Zealand’s] first state house were David and Mary McGregor. Besides the Prime Minister, the opening day ceremony saw 300 others stomp though their home, muddying floors and fingerprinting freshly painted fixtures. Growing impatient at this ’home invasion’, the McGregor’s eventually told their guests to leave, but for days afterwards they encountered sightseers peering through their windows.
[Mr] McGregor was a tram driver for the Wellington City Council. For his efforts he received a wage of £4 7s 9d per week. Out of this total he paid the state £1 10s 3d in rent, just over a third of his pay. (http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/we-call-it-home/first-state-house).
Where I’m going with this conversation is that things have changed rapidly
1) You as a group of people have encountered what I believe to be the most rapid change outside of war zones, in any place in recent time. Some more than others! And I want to ask a question.
But first the city you are living in is changing at an astronomical rate, a couple of days ago a fourteen story building was blown up in seven seconds, one of roughly six hundred in the Central Business District that is coming down, plus thousands of homes.
The question I’m going to ask and I don’t want an answer for it just now and I will probably see it on your faces anyhow is, “with all this change and changing stuff, how is it going for you?”
Now I’ve left you hanging on that question and related it to change I want to talk about God.
2) So why be in a relationship with God? The answer is, because everything that you encounter in life is changing and when you get to my age you find it changes at a rapid rate. Everything changes; you will know this due to your seniority and life experience probably better than most people. The thing is that God however does not change, “He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow”.[Hebrews 13:8]. James who was Jesus brother; the two of them had Mary as their mum and they grew up in the same house. James came to believe Jesus was Lord after Jesus resurrection, up until then Jesus family were a bit concerned that he had over stepped the mark a little and heading off on a strange tangent.
So this brother of Jesus, James comes out with a line that is of importance to Christians, who are struggling with trials and temptations, with change and it is this, “Don’t be deceived dear brothers [and sisters]. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:16-17). So God does not change, everything else changes mountains rise and fall, tower block buildings rise and fall, you couldn’t now get a pair of shoes anywhere for $1.60 not even second hand, and what of any use can you buy for 6 cents? The key point here is that God never changes.
God is the one thing that will not change, when the going gets tough God will still be true to his promises, he will still be your salvation, His Holy Spirit if you have asked Him to will still reside in you, when others let you down and when you struggle with life God is still the same.
Deuteronomy 31:6 puts it this way: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” The them in this case were the nations who at that time lived in the ‘Promised Land’ we see this echoed in the book of Hebrews in relation to stuff that changes, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews13:5. Now that’s a bit counter cultural and even points to eternity. Living as we do in a time when a lot of people believe the richest man in the graveyard is the winner and a fair number believe that that is where things stop.