From the Pastor's Desk 1980-1989
In Catechism classes we often talked about the origin of a word. One such word was tradition. This word comes from the Latin traditio (trader), which means to hand down. In the course of the centuries it came to mean the handing down of beliefs, opinions, customs, stories, etc. from parents to children. Nowadays many look down upon traditions. They say, "we must have the forward look. We cannot be fettered by the past." But traditions have shaped us. And this generation is forming its own traditions, which will be passed on again. Of course, you have good, bad and indifferent traditions. One fine tradition, which our forefathers passed on to us, and which we should pass on to our children, is family devotions before and after meals.
Family devotions are under duress. Our times are hurried. With growing up children attending school, youth societies, sports, and other activities, family devotions have fallen on hard times. However, though the practice is threatened by today's fast pace of living, we should resist the temptation to give it up. Daily we recognize that we are dependent on the Lord for food and shelter. Daily we need to pray for forgiveness, and for protection. And daily we may thank the Lord for the goodness and mercy He shows to us. I hope that the coming generation, if the Lord tarries, will continue with the God honouring practice of family devotions at the table. It is a tradition worth keeping.
Have you noticed how vocabulary changes in the course of time? Years ago a salesclerk would say on Saturday night, "Have a good" or a "blessed Sunday". You don't hear this anymore. Now they say have a good weekend. This change says something about the different perspectives many have developed regarding the Lord's Day. The sacred character of this day is disappearing. The emphasis is on recreation. But the Lord's Day is still special. The Bible tells us that we are to make that day holy. To make holy means to set apart unto God. The weekly day of rest is dedicated to God. We rest from our labours (Exodus 20:8-11). Yet believers also meditate on God's saving acts, the wonderful deeds God has done for His people. In New Testament times the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Today we celebrate hope; Christ has risen! The bonds of death have been broken. The sorrowing can find comfort. Young and old have a future. We thank God that the work of salvation has been completed. Today we rejoice in our salvation. With this in mind, I don't want to change my vocabulary. I wish you a blessed Sunday.