Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 NRSV)

In 1832 the people of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, refused the use of a school house for the discussion of the desirability of a railroad for that locality, because the school board felt that "Railroads are impossible and a great infidelity. If God had intended that his intelligent creatures should travel at the frightful speed of seventeen miles an hour by steam he would have clearly foretold it in the Holy Prophets. Such things as railroads are devices of the Satan to lead immortal souls down to Hell."

In 1867 the following news item appeared in the Chicago Federation News, a leading Chicago newspaper: "Joshua Coppersmith has been arrested in New York for attempting to extort funds from ignorant and superstitious people by exhibiting a device which he claimed will convey the human voice any distance over metallic wires, so that it will be heard by listeners at the other end. Well informed people know it is impossible and of no practical value. The authorities who apprehended this criminal are to be congratulated."

It was Jesus Christ who was the greatest change agent of all time. We stand aghast even today at some of Jesus' teachings, but Jesus came to change our hearts to be more like God's.

How do we handle change? Are we working to change hearts to be more like God's?


Loving God, may I be an agent of change to move people's hearts to be like yours. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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