In 1964, Bob Dylan sang a song with 5 verses and each verse finished with the same line which became the title, “For the times they are a-changin’”. Now, 55 years later, we are well aware that nothing stays the same. One of the main trends seems to be a greater need for “help” as the community is more “individualistic” than ever. For many valid reasons we live in a more densely populated environment yet we experience greater feelings of loneliness than ever before. Maybe we are meant to live in community which could be crudely described as a safe place to speak, listen, discuss and learn. A publication on a government website in the “Child Family Community Australia” section makes interesting reading. Here are just two quotes.
“According to Albee (1977), the gradual shift from life in villages and small towns to life within larger more anonymous societies prompted increased attempts to seek direction from within. The focus on inner direction, accompanied by the weakening of old certainties hitherto buttressed by religion and a sense of social and geographical belonging, created a need for more personalised help, guidance and support.” “In the culture that followed the science-led Industrial Revolution, it is perhaps not surprising that science-informed alternatives to traditional morally and religiously based responses to “problems of living” began to gain acceptance.”
I do not blame those professionals who try to help us make sense of life and many do a wonderful job, but please remember Jesus and His Word in all that you look for to help you. The answer for the increased need for feeling loved and accepted is found in many ways but sadly some of them cause damage. The “dependency” culture is very alarming. The abuse of alcohol and drug taking is horrific in our culture. Sadly, even the institutional Church has done damage! If we don’t live a healthy and Godly life and if our words don’t point people to Jesus then the lost may never know what God can do for them.
Our theme for Pentecost Sunday is, “You are not alone – you have an advocate.” The coming of the Holy Spirit to be with every believer was and is still, miraculous. Imagine if the unbeliever knew of the help available through the Holy Spirit. This is a challenge for us to participate in. The following verses remind us what we have as believers in Christ. We are not alone, we have an Advocate, Someone who stands up for us, we have the perfect Counsellor. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” John 14:15-18, HCSB.