by Rev. Karen Helsel
Flying just isn't what it used to be. We were once offered steak or salmon on a flight, warm hand washcloths before and after the meal, and all kinds of other amenities.
This week the attendant had these extravagant choices for us: peanuts, crackers and peanut butter, or two hard gingerbread cookies. You could also choose the "assortment," which was one of each. He facitiously called it the three course meal: appetizer, main course, and dessert. Nobody laughed.
The price of gasoline has caused airlines to cut costs...of services, of personnel, and even to use smaller airplanes, and pack in the passengers. Empty seats cost money.
No, flying isn't what it used to be.
And neither are so many other things like they used to be. Families, both nuclear and extended have changed. Many have been fractured. Some have simply lost their place of importance.
In the business world, a man was as good as his word. Integrity was rewarded. Sometimes today people smile or wink at those who get away with illegal or unethical behavior.
The church used to be the center of a community, where people laughed and learned together. It was a place of support, nurture, and learning. It was a place where comfort was shared. Most churches still provide those things.
But many people make church choices like we make other consumer choices: we look over what is offered and make choices based on the needs of our families.
Yes, many things are not what they used to be...but there's one that is, one thing that has never changed: the deep, abiding love of God for us. God never changes, and the Bible tells us over and over again how much He loves us. God was not willing to leave it at "telling", however. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to show us that extravagant love, by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sin.
If you're feeling a bit cynical about the world today, you may have to seek for fulfillment and answers somewhere else. Why not investigate a personal friendship with Jesus Christ? Visit a caring, loving congregation soon and get connected to Jesus Christ - with others who will show you His love.
Rev. Karen Helsel is pastor of the Sunnyside Church of God.