Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: The Year We Make Contact

Rocket packs and robot servants. When I was a teenager and thought about the year 2010 I was sure that we would have a moon base and real bionic people. Tech revolutions would end hunger and war. Racism and genocide would be a thing of the past. 2010 seemed to be a time that would mark a turning point in human history, but as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power, we have guided missiles and misguided men.”

The only real turning point in human history came 2000 years ago. The infant creator of the cosmos infiltrated a world mired in misery and grew to teach a path of love and sacrifice allowing humanity to partake in the divine nature. The barrier separating humanity from its creator shattered forever as the shadow of a blood stained cross fell across an empty tomb and the watershed news was proclaimed, “He is not here, he has risen!” (Luke 24:6).

The world is indeed changing, and many significant events and innovations have altered human history. The printing press, the atomic bomb, birth control, antibiotics, intercontinental flight, space travel, computer technology and global networks held in the palms of our hands. Some have estimated that 90% of all human innovation has occurred since 1984 and now we have an “app” for everything. Yet racism, genocide, slavery, poverty, violent crime, terrorism, greed and corruption still infect the human condition. In 1984, at the turning point of the technology revolution, a less than stellar film released envisioning life in 2010. A sequel to the epic 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film was 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

Long before 2010 Christ made contact, and because of what God has done, we can say, “We love because he first loved us.” The slowly rising tide of love – of looking out for the welfare of others – continues to be the theme of the gospel. Yet in many of our churches we seek self-preservation, focus on our welfare and create protective societies in which we compliment ourselves and often curse or ignore our neighbor. In many of our churches our mission seems to be to avoid contact and save ourselves.

God came to save the world. God calls you to participate in that great mission. May 2010 be the year we make contact. Make contact with the broken and needy in our neighborhoods and communities. Make contact with families in need of hope. Make contact with people of means of and influence, sharing with them the good news of a people infused with the power of God to make the world a better, kinder place – a place of blessing. Make contact with pushers and users, the abused and abusers, and dwell with them long enough for us all to experience respect, care, understanding, truth, righteousness and love. Let us no longer insulate but infiltrate.

There is no “app for that.” There is only a prayerful sacrifice of time and resources, an opening of homes, families, churches, and businesses to become conduits of Jesus’ love. Ask yourself, your church board, your pastor, your denominational leaders – and above all ask God – how we might see 2010 be the year we make contact.

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