The Big Change,” an article in Lutheran Education Vo1.93 (February 1957), shows what vast changes had come over the world in the previous 15 years: “8,000 more people a day in the United States; growth in our church (LCMS) of about 700,000 souls; change from rural to urban; over 30 million people on move; families larger; almost 3 1/2 million in colleges; marriage at younger age; 2 1/2 million women working; average age going up to 68 years for men, 74 for women; color barriers down; average income from $2,210 in 1951 to $6,500 now; farming mechanized; a host of new drugs; automation in factories; atomic energy. And now space satellites”.
A Pastor by the name of Walter Lang in our church body commented that, “some people call this evolution, feel world is getting better. Christians see in this change proof that their life is no more than a pilgrimage (Heb.13:14; 1 Peter 2:11). Their joy is not in this, that the world is improving. It is in the joy Christ gives them in all this change”.
Think of what we see today – many more than 8000 folks coming into the country and most are illegal. The growth in our churches is over and almost all Christian churches in the US are loosing members at an astonishing rate. Families of European backgrounds are getting smaller. People are waiting longer to get married if they get married at all. Life expectancy for men is now 78 and 81 for women, but many think that extension is labor and sorrow and we still “fly away”. Color barriers may be down but if we listen to certain folks racial tensions are higher than ever. Incomes are up but many see mechanization as a retrograde movement. The new drugs get lost in the opioid crisis and automation in factories is also considered by many as retrograde.
I had a friend that described most people with this phrase – They don’t know what they want and they won’t be happy until they get it.
I love the prayer at Compline –
Be present, merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of life may find our rest in You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.