Herald Journal Columns
Feb. 16, 2004 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

The inevitability of change, but the sameness of Jesus
By Rev. Robert Ramphal, Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly

Scripture tells us in Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." There are four points I would like to make to show some interesting changes we have made over the years that should allow us to reflect and perhaps, do some introspection.

First, I have many friends I have known since I was a child. We played and laughed together, attended the same schools, lived, and even worked in the same neighborhood. I thought I knew my friends very well, but over the years I have seen some of them change.

Unfortunately, some of them have changed for the worse, and their values have changed considerably from what they were taught as children. Some have become bitter, angry, upset and rebellious to the values that were taught for the betterment of themselves and the community.

Second, over the years, we have seen many changes in our schools, particularly our public schools. The one that stands out to me is the change to take prayer out of the schools. I know this is a contentious matter, but nevertheless, prayers in our schools were working, having a positive effect on our children. There was far more respect, better behavior, and a greater sense of community.

Prayer in our school was something we grew up with, and I believe our forefathers, in their wisdom, knew something about the effect of prayer upon the lives of people. I am not debating the issue of separation of church and state, but I am saying that prayer had a positive effect.

Third, almost all of us have computers and we know that in a short time, all of our computers will become obsolete. We may have to upgrade or replace them, in part due to the constant marvel of new technologies being developed.

We also realize some businesses cannot operate without computers, and are at the mercy of the computer vendors. Individuals and companies will tell you that business integrity is constantly being compromised. The cost for updating and fixing is prohibitively very high, and warranty and workmanship become questionable.

Last, it is amazing how far we have come when we look at the laws of our country, for example our laws regarding abortion. I truly believe in the sanctity of life. It is bewildering to think that in our society, we have a law that says it is legal to have an abortion, but it is illegal to steal an eagle's egg, which can carry a severe penalty of imprisonment or fine.

The scripture message that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever is indeed reassuring to all of us. Jesus is the Word of God and the Word of God is for all times.

In His Word, God established a code of conduct with moral values and imperatives for all times. While we may change as a society, His values remain the same. The rules for living a decent and holy life have been given by God and they are not subject to our whims of change.

Legally and constitutionally we can establish all the laws we want, but when those laws run contrary to God's laws, for Christians, God's laws still stand. We cannot preempt God's authority with any other authority. While our laws are intended to establish an orderly and civilized society, our laws must always find its source in God's law.

We can be thankful that we can trust in a God that is forever faithful, dependable, and unchangeable. Whatever He says, He will do; and whatever He does, He is right. This kind of stability makes all of us feel safe and secure.


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