In the early 1950's I changed my life. I started to study the bible with a JW. Big mistake!
We were, I learned, living in the very last days of the last days of this old world. A New World would soon be here.
"When will the end come?" I asked the father (a 'servant' in the Sydney cong. I attended) of the young brother who studied with me. He replied, "I think it will come very soon," he replied. "Within the next 5 years." he added. Well the years rolled by and he came to the end of his life. I attended his funeral with his family. It should have be a red flag to me. But saturated with bible teachings I made excuses.
Not long ago, I saw his son's pik on FB, He's old now - just like me. And. its quite clear to me, not just that the end of the world is NOT coming, but also, that YHWH and his sidekick Jesus are figments of men's imaginations.
And this world goes on. changing all the time, as it has done for all of time. In the city this morning, there were two things that flagged two of those changes to me.
This is the first. Its Sydney Town Hall:
And the flag is the Gay and Lesbian rainbow flag. Its flying on the Town Hall in recognition of the fact that this is Mardi Gras month (something like Gay Pride in other countries). Who could have thought when I was young that this could ever happen?
But it has! And as Australian's know, in a plebiscite last year 62% of Australians voted to approve same sex marriage. Approved in the face of a nasty struggle by many churches to maintain a ban on same sex marriage.
The other big change was at Circular Quay - a city hub, where the first white settlement was established. Here's what I saw.
As well as Mardi Gras month, its also Chinese New Year Time (or, the Spring Festival, if you prefer). It was inconceivable in the early 1950's that China would ever be, Australia's largest export market, or that more Chinese students would study in Australia, than students from any other country, or that China would have become internationally important.
But that's what one can see at Circular quay this week. Colorful lanterns from China, all around circular quay. to celebrate CNY, along with a big delegation of performers, all from China.
Unimaginable all those years ago.