Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sunday Devotions: The Wrong Path

Psalm 119:104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.

There’s a controversy brewing over an ad that the World Wild Life Fund had commissioned in Brazil. The ad depicts over one hundred airplanes heading directly to Manhattan with the intention of impacting the skyscrapers. Beside the Panda logo is a line which reads: "The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it."

Many people, especially New Yorkers, are outraged about the ad. With the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks just a week away, it is tasteless and insensitive. If the ad company just wanted to shock people, then they’ve obviously succeeded, but if they wanted to get people to support the World Wildlife Fund, they have seriously gone down the wrong path.

What is it with people these days? Do they have no conscience? Is 9/11 so far removed from our hearts and thoughts that we can mock it like this? I remember that apocalyptic day very well and it changed my life forever. I’m certain that those who lived through Pearl Harbor have kept December 7th sacred in their hearts and memories, so why can’t we respect and honor those who innocently died on that tragic day in 2001?

One of the important qualities about the Christian faith is that it is meant to show us how to take the right paths in life and avoid the wrong ones. As Christianity diminishes in Western society, it makes me wonder how many wrong paths we will brazenly take over the next 25 years. Will there be no moral boundaries? Will there be no honor or respect? Will humanity just drag itself down into a morass where faith, hope, and love no longer survive?

I honestly hope not, because I think we were created for higher, nobler, and greater things. So my prayer today is that we all return to Christ’s teaching and God’s precepts to show us the way forward and keep us from going down the wrong path.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we appear to be fragmenting as a faithful society and Christian community. We follow our own paths and march to the sound of our own drums. Forgive us for our foolish notions, wasteful ways, and misguided choices. Help us to return to Your words, so that we can we can be restored to God’s love and kingdom. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to

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