I think the easy answer is the world isn't the same as when we finished seminary, it isn't the same as when we took the present calls that we're in (those of us that are pastors) and the lives of the people in the pew are changing as exponentially as everything else. Two things come to mind (a) are we keeping up? (b) isn't it great that God doesn't change?However, with all of those facts showing how much happens in a second and how much can happen in a year, a month, a week, how many people will die before hearing the gospel presented to them by the time I finish this blog?
In a recent bible study class we compared a couple of important life concepts. We compared our "Career" and our "Calling". Career was defined as something we do mostly based on our own efforts and from which we eventually retire. This was contrasted with our "Calling" which God defines in our lives and from which we never retire. In these days of a struggling economy it is important to remember that even if we lose our job, retire, etc. - we always have God's calling. If we find ourselves unemployed, we can know and take comfort in the fact that there is one thing that can never be taken away from us - our Calling.
And yet, just as in ages past, the person standing next to us at the bus stop, in our cul de sac, at McDonald's, is hurting and hungry for something to bring him peace, for hope in a bleak and confusing world. Are we so busy encountering the faceless on the great wide internet that we don't even see the person standing next to us?
One only has to look at the outreach ministries of the church such as the Food Pantry, the Interfaith Hospitality Network, the Urban/Network Coffee House, the Littleton Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and the Angel Tree, and other ministries to realize that the members of the church care deeply about the needs of the community - and are actively lending a helping hand.
I heard a "futurist" give a presentation very similar to this one, trying to convince educators about the urgency of providing career technical education. At the climax of his disparaging remarks about the irrelevance of what high school teachers are currently teaching he asked us the question, "What does it matter in the light of eternity?" WOW! He meant that we should ask ourselves if our curricula is preparing students for today's world. But he was actually asking the most important question of all - what am I doing to prepare my students for what is the most important high stakes test in the universe: Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ, the only way to the Father, the only name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved?
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