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Within Sight

posted Aug 7, 2014, 12:45 PM by Pastor Chuck   [ updated Aug 8, 2014, 6:02 AM by Kasey Dixon ]
I had a wonderful conversation with some of our men on Tuesday night of this week.  Morris Reaves, Troy Smart, Wilbur Woodall, and Tony Swanson were attending our semi-annual WMU circle meeting.  We are invited to attend the cook out and Christmas celebrations of the Circle of Caring Hearts.  So twice a year, we become honorary members of the WMU.  

We were talking about how fast our world is changing.  Morris reminded us of the old Dick Tracy comics where Dick Tracy talked to people on his wrist phone.  What was once comic strip lore is now reality.  It seems that technology, medicine, and all kinds of science are expanding our knowledge almost faster than we can record it.  Before you can get it written down they have discovered something else.

This morning, the wonders of our age were brought home in a new way to me.  I went by to change cars with Becky and she was talking to our daughter.  Not by telephone, not texting, not email, or facebook, but facetime!  Using one of her co-workers phones, Becky was looking at our daughter in Honduras and talking with her in real time.  Stacy showed us where she was staying and working.  It was very much like seeing her on television.  Although occasionally her signal wavered, we pretty much talked and saw each other uninterrupted.  It was just like Dick Tracy!  But I looked and talked to her like she was within sight.  

It was a wonderful experience to get to see and talk with my daughter like that.  There are all kinds of wonderful experiences just like that.  We should give thanks to God that we are blessed to live in a time like this.  

But there is another part of these wonderful things we talked about.  It is a side that is not always easy to address.  As science and technology race ahead at breakneck speed, what happens when our culture begins to match its movements and speed.  How does the church respond to such rapid change?  How do you respond as a follower of Jesus?  What do we do when we disagree with each other about the changes and our responses?  

First, I believe that as followers of Jesus, we should be able to listen to others and talk with them even if we do not agree.  When we listen to each other, new discoveries come within sight of us.  For example, Morris and I did not agree about some of the aspects of global warming.  Yet, we continued to talk without getting angry or ugly.  We shared our views and respectfully listened to each other.  While I do not believe either of us convinced the other of our view, I learned a great deal from Morris and his views.  By listening, I gained a new viewpoint of the issue that will help me grow and find God's direction in my response to the problems of our environment.  I further discovered that Morris and I share a common concern for being good stewards of the earth God has created.  We agree that God expects us to take care of our world.  

By taking time to talk and listen to each other, we were blessed with opportunities to learn and grow.  As Christians we need to take time to listen to each other even if we do not totally agree.  It is amazing what God can teach us if we will have a teachable spirit and listen.  

Second, the rapidly changing culture and social climate of our time offers us a unique opportunity to share the Gospel.  Certainly, through the technology and sciences we can talk to more people in more places at more times than any other time in the history of the world. People are almost in constant contact with each other, sharing activities, messages, pictures, selfies, blogs, and videos.  We are able to communicate with each other more easily than ever. Yet, the times we live in continue to see troubled people.  From angry people to lonely people to depressed people who go as far as taking their own lives.  With so much communication going on you would think these problems would disappear.  Instead, they seem to be increasing.  

With the best of medicines, the best of internet communication, the best of entertainment, and leisure time to use it all, something continues to be missing in the lives of people.  That something is love.  Love is a relationship.  For Christians it is our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.  Perhaps this is something we do better than anyone else. Our Gospel is based on these loving relationships.  This love brings a personal touch to everything we do.  Love brings an intimacy that no technology can duplicate or imitate.  Love meets a need that nothing else can meet in the lives of people everywhere.  

If we expect to reach people with the Good News of Jesus, we will have to do some things the same and other things differently.  The Gospel will be that constant Good News that God loves us and wants us to love Him.  The ways we communicate that Good News will be constantly changing.  This is one of the best times to be a Christian.  Will we rise to the challenges of our times?  Reaching people with the Gospel in new ways is something that should always be within sight of where we are in following Jesus.  

Well, that is a little long, but it gives us something to think about.  Let me know what you think.  I would be glad to hear from you.  Talk with you again soon.  

Next blog:  I will pick up on how we can meet the challenges of our times and the importance of being the voice of ethics and morality in our culture.