Donna and I had a new experience fairly recently. For the first time in our lives, we attended a Home Owners’ Association meeting. In many ways, it was an educational and very interesting experience.
I think I may agree with our son. When I texted him and told him where we were, he sent back a message that he had attended one such meeting while he and his family lived in Nashville. He also said that he’d only learned one thing–to never go to another one!
My education began at the very beginning of the meeting. The person in charge informed the residents that there is now a minister (me) in the community.
That brief introduction was followed by a statement that was my introduction to a way of thinking that was foreign to me. Our new neighbors were told that I had been asked to open the meeting with a prayer and would do so “if nobody objects.”
To me, those three words are merely one indication of how far (in the wrong direction) we have traveled as a society. I believe that to be true for at least a couple of reasons.
First, I am old enough to remember when public prayer was the norm in all sorts of situations. It was almost unthinkable to begin just about any gathering without a prayer. Sadly, those days are vanishing; if they have not already vanished.
Secondly, I was reminded of the power of a small, but determined minority. It seemed obvious to me that one objection could have derailed the plan that the meeting would begin with a prayer.
I am, in no way, in favor of a powerful majority trampling on the rights of an oppressed minority. At the same time, I am growing very weary of a vocal minority “setting the agenda” for a society, a community, an educational system, and/or the church.
The fact of the matter is that I did pray. The meeting was conducted. After the meeting, we adjourned.
As we took one of our neighbors home and then went to our own house, I thought, “This is not the same world in which I grew up. This is not even the same world in which I spent my earlier adult years.”
If things keep going in the direction they are and with the speed they are, I’m wondering how many restrictions will be placed on my children and grandchildren by the time they are my age. I’m wondering whether they will run afoul of the governmental officials and enforcers of the law if they choose to even pray privately.
I, for one, would like to sound an alarm that we are in very serious trouble if we do not return to God and His Word–and do that sooner rather than later. Later may be too late.
I need to sound that alarm whether or not anybody objects.
Will you join me?
Photo background credit: Jake Guild on Creative Commons