Today we saw a copy of the Los Angeles Times of Sunday, December 17. 1905. That paper is almost 64[1] years old. In it were ads for ladies dresses for $2.00 each and men’s suits for $16.00. In the society section there was news of coming events while the obituary column listed those who had just died. Not too different in many ways from a paper of today.

All of the big names of that day are now long dead and buried. All their activities died with them. As we look back at their world it is easy for us to see how trivial were all their hopes and dreams. How many suits and dresses the local merchant sold was very important to him but it is not important to anyone now. Who was invited to this party or that seemed critical then but not now. Who was elected mayor and what Congress decided about the tax reform laws was of great concern to the business men of that day. The stock market fluctuations were studied carefully by the investors of the day and which stock went up and which went down really mattered then but not now.

What really matters now? Are we concerned over the same kinds of things that occupied the time of those active in 1905? Life is not really very different. We have more things to distract us such as radio and television but it is still the trivial things of life that try to crowd God right out of it. Most people then worked six days a week instead of five and now some are striking for a four-day work week. Men do not use their free time to glorify God but rather to pursue the pleasures of sin for a season.

Jesus told us not to be concerned with what we shall eat or what we shall drink or what we shall wear for after all these things do the Gentiles seek. He was right. That is what they thought about 2000 years ago, when Christ walked the dusty paths of Galilee. Those living in Galilee today are still thinking about these same mundane things. The men of Los Angeles of 64 years ago concerned themselves with the same kind of thoughts as do the people of Los Angeles today. Like Jesus said, “all these things do the Gentiles seek.”

The question is, what do we seek? Where is our treasure? What is it that engages our time and our attention? Is it anything of lasting value or are we also engrossed in trifles as light as air?

It was quite an accomplishment to have one’s name in the paper in 1905. It still is today. Those names in the 1905 Times are meaningless to us today and so will the names in today’s Times be in years to come. Some of those whose names were in the Sunday Times were thrilled beyond words to see their name in print. It was a dream come true and yet we are not at all impressed to see the name of one who has been dead so long in that paper. What difference does it make now? While our names are probably not in today’s paper, they are recorded in God’s record book and each day the things done for Christ are listed after them. What did we do today? Life and time have a way of flying by and before we know it another day, another week, another month, yes, even years have flown by. What have we accomplished in the service of the Lord?

Very soon our life will be over, either because we have come to the end of our days or because Christ will have returned to reward every man according to his works. Let us then heed the wise advice of Paul who told us that “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Reference

[1] Now 101 years!