In 1964 when I was about to be conscripted into the Australian Army for 2 years during the Vietnam War, the well known song writer, singer Bob Dylan wrote the song called The Times They Are A-Changing, a song deliberately written to create an anthem of change for the moment. There was a new generation making its voice felt and it was particularly expressed in the following verse:
“Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, And don’t criticise what you don’t understand,
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new if you can’t lend a hand, For …
In 1967 The Beatles released a memorable song called, “When I’m Sixty-Four”. The song asks the question that can stir in the minds of many people who are facing old age when it repeats the words, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?”
The thought of no longer being needed with the advancement of old age cuts across the very purpose for which we were created.
Interestingly, I belong to a denomination that requires its pastors to retire at 65, even though it is possible to believe for a number of them that their best years are still to come.
( Sue still needed …
Human beings are not the only ones who proceed through a life cycle. Every organisation has one.
One day in my mail, I received a poster to advertise an event soon to occur in another church. I was struck by the irony of the fact that it contained details announcing the “celebration” of the closure of this certain church. It caused me to realise that any church is ever only a generation away from closing. I placed the brochure inside the cupboard of my office to remind me, whenever I opened the cupboard, that every church/organisation is either on a life cycle or a death cycle. (See brochure at end …
The remarkable life of Jesus was brought home to me when I read these words,
“The life of Jesus was so unique, unpredictable, illogical and inconsistent that it would have been impossible for someone to make it up. It had to be true.”
And yet Jesus’ calling to us is that we are to learn to live like Him. He said to His disciples, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” John 20:21 As I grew to understand this calling, the words of a Salvation Army song took on a deeper meaning for me :
“To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me,
In every thought …