#576: Something Old, Something New

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Reflections by the Pond
November 5, 2012

Mom was always irritated when Dad would take a load of junk to the city dump, then return with more new junk than he had taken in the first place.

As a writer with a passing acquaintance with what is and what is not a word, I am always amused when I pass the large painted sign at my local landfill: "No Scavengering Permitted." But yesterday, when it was my turn to take a load of junk there, I wished dearly that they did permit "scavengering." Right behind where I unloaded my stuff was a pile of perfectly usable building materials: lengths of almost pristine two-by-six treated lumber, tiles, clean two-by-fours. There was even a large plastic thermos that looked as if it had just come off the store shelf. I desperately wished I could load up my now-empty Jeep with some of that "junk."

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We here in the west live in a wasteful society. People routinely throw away items our grandparents would have found useful for many more years. Of course it doesn't help that so many items are manufactured to be disposable, rather than repaired, but I have a feeling that our habits would not change dramatically even if they were not.

So broken household appliances, worn or out-of-style clothing, and last year's mobile phone are all routinely discarded in favor of whatever is new. For many of us it is hard-coded in our genes to prefer the new and shiny over the old and dulled. But what is an unseemly—and expensive—habit when it comes to the doo-dads of our civilization, quickly becomes more serious when it involves faith.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

2 Timothy 1:5

You don't get much older than the Christian faith, which did not begin with the resurrection of Christ, or even with His incarnation, but began back in eternity past when the Godhead determined that this would be the one and only way for man to dwell with God for eternity future.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1,14

God's holy word, penned by the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, records the fundamentals of this faith—its beginnings, its history, its doctrine. It is all there: not broken or worn out, but still perfectly intact and vital. Yet too many today are all too eager to discard it for something "new," something fresh and shiny, something more modern.

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:14-15

We dally and tinker with faddish belief systems, inventive and charismatic religions that entice with vain promises. We reinvent the Trinity, we mold and shape God into our own likeness, then wonder why this new, more-fashionable "God" does not deliver as we expect.

We have discarded rock maple and aged oak in favor of thin plastic.

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If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions...

1 Timothy 6:3-4 NIV

What one learns when one grows and matures in the solid bedrock of God's word is that its truth is timeless. It transcends fashion and fad. It need not be adapted or edited, for its wisdom applies to any age. It need not be improved, for it cannot.

There is only one God, and He does not share power.

There is only one Savior, and His name is Jesus.

I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.