Those Were The Days
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In 1968 Mary Hopkin sang, THOSE WERE THE DAYS. Included in the song were these lyrics, “Those were the days my friend. We thought they’d never end. We’d sing and dance forever and a day.” People tend to romanticize the past, choosing to only remember the good. Christians can get caught up in this too. Many people believe today’s society is bad and the future will be worse. We must never forget that God created us for the present. Now is our time. Please read more.
Each preceding generation tends to believe that today’s current generation is going to hell in a handbasket. How many times have you heard someone say how bad today’s culture is? Today’s culture reeks with the stench of sin, but I assure you, every generation since the fall of Adam and Eve did too.
Today, some priests and ministers try to protect their congregations inside the safety and security of the church walls, fearing that the world is evil, corrupt, and full of depravity. But they must recognize that the church was not intended to be a safe haven to hide saints from the reveling sinners outside. We must do more than just kneel in prayer, hope for the best and pray for the second coming to happen soon. A good homily should point out the immoral culture of the day, but then it should send the people out into the streets to bring about change.
Many also believe that the modern church itself has veered off course, and they long for the church of a time gone bye. They sometimes forget that the church of the past had sin and corruption too. A quick read of religious history show us that sins, exploitations and corruption have been part of religion going back to the beginning.
Let’s be honest, the good old days, were not always that good. We have a tendency to look at the past through rose colored glasses. During those supposed good old days, there was no air conditioning in the summer, it was cold inside in the winter, there were no automobiles, one had to go to the outhouse to do their business, downtown streets were filled with horse manure and flies were everywhere.
God has a perfect plan. God placed us in this time in history for a reason. Trying to go back in time is akin to driving your car forward while looking in the rear view mirror. You and I are called to live in the present and make a difference now.
There is no doubt that our world is full of sin and corruption and no doubt that some of our churches have veered off course. I personally don’t believe that trying to go back to yesteryear or trying to hide from today’s depraved and licentious culture inside the walls of the church is the answer. Our churches should not be fortresses to protect the saints; they should be a gathering place to redeem and save repentant sinners.
Jesus didn’t allow the Apostles to stay on the mountain after the Transfiguration. There was work to be done. Times were corrupt then too. As shepherds of men, they needed to smell like their sheep. They needed to go out among the sinners in order to save them. We owe these early Christians a debt of gratitude. Now we too, must venture through the debaucheries of society seeking out the lost and broken people of our world to bring them the good news of Jesus.
We can’t hide from today’s culture inside of the church. If we do, our churches will look like Vincent van Gogh’s painting of The Church at Auvers. It depicted a gloomy church with no doors, shrouded with dark ominous clouds. We must go out to call sinners to repentance and bring them back into a welcoming, joyous and Christ filled church.
Do you remember the old Maytag commercials with the lonely Maytag repairman? In theory, Maytag appliances were so dependable that there was nothing for the repairman to do. Spiritually speaking, however, there is an abundance of work for us to do.
You and I have been called by God to be spiritual repairman. Jesus has taught us the way and given us His Holy Spirit to guide us through our turbulent times. Unlike the Maytag repairman, we have much to do.
God has placed us right where we are and in this time in history for a reason. This is our moment in time. Rather than dreading the condition of our modern world, let’s go forward to bring about change. Let’s work together to make the future a more Christ centered world than either the present or the past.
Heavenly Father, Jesus said, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Give me courage to boldly proclaim the good news of Your Son to our broken world. Amen.
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I remember that song. And liked it. I am a very grateful Catholic. Trying my best to get better.
Hopefully we are all trying our best to get better. Thanks for your post.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Right now I’m reading “The Storm before the Calm” by Neale Donald Walshe and that’s what it’s all about. We’re in the here and now and it’s up to each of us to do our part. Starting conversations is all important.
We’re all familiar with the role our priests and ministers take on as shepherds for their flock. However, at times I think we gloss over what that role actually entails. I’ve heard it said that a true shepherd takes on three positions in relationship to his sheep.
Yes, he is often in front of the community to lead, to scout out danger and protect, but he also needs to stand in our midst so that he knows our names and we know his voice and recognize our smell on him. And finally, the shepherd at times is to walk behind the flock, for we may know how to sniff out fresh waters unknown to him.
In these difficult times, may our shepherds care for their flocks as we all carry on the process of the Incarnation of our Lord – meeting each other where we are at, calling each other by name, learning each other’s stories. Talking, eating, laughing, praying and mourning as one.
We cry tears of joy at births and we weep tears of sorrow when we bury. Our community of believers is foremost about love and service for one another. We are forever bound to Jesus and this binds us together. Pastor, give us food for this journey and walk with us.
Thank you for adding your thoughts to this discussion thread. We are indeed bound together as followers of Jesus Christ; and through Him we should find immense joy even in the midst of life’s most troubling times. Our churches need to be a place of joy, peace and grace that sustain us each week for the trials that we will likely face as we leave the church doors and re-enter the broken world.
How true and. how lost this message, at times, seems. We must always remember that the promise of forgiveness involves repentance and the following of the second great commandment of “Love they neighbour as thyself” as well as the first. Let us not, however, allow it to lead us into being judgemental of others.
Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts. May God’s blessings be with you.