Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Wind of Change

Yesterday I was reminded of the movie “Mary Poppins.” Now I know that you may be thinking “Why and how does Mary Poppins come up in everyday conversation?” In the story two children decide to write up their ideas on what would make a perfect nanny for them only to have their stern father tear up their list and throw it into the fireplace where a strange wind carries it up the chimney. The next day there is a change in the weather, the wind changes direction and blows all the unqualified nannies away. But the wind of change also brings in the most qualified nanny: Mary Poppins.

We live in a world that is changing, and for some this change is happening rapidly and is an unwelcome intruder threatening to take away safety and security. Many have been saving and investing in various money market accounts: CD’s, T Bills, property, stocks, and numerous others ways to grow their money. But many have lost the wealth they have stored up for themselves, money that would ensure a simpler life during retirement. The questions become, “Who do you trust, the bank or God?” and “Where are you storing your treasure?”

We live in a world that is changing, and getting smaller. We can connect with people around the world and talk to them in real time. Social media (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and others) have created a world where our neighbor can be another continent away. We hear about the evils happening to people groups, sometimes even before the world’s media pick it up (example Dafur, Somli Pirates and the attacks in India). We can connect with our favorite author or musician and discover they are people with hopes and dreams, just like us. And we get to read, discover and share ideas and thoughts. How will we deal with the injustices around the world?

We live in a world that is changing. Next week Barrack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th president. 140 years ago the Civil War was ending and through the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, slavery was abolished. 100 years later our country faced civil unrest as African Americans fought for equal rights. That was 40 years ago. 40 years ago African Americans were given the right to vote. 40 years, a generation later, Barrack Obama is president. Isn’t it ironic that Inauguration Day is the day after Martin Luther King Day?

We live in a changing world. We can fight it, and sometimes we should, or we can support it.

Over 2,000 years ago a man was executed on a Roman cross, this in itself was not unusual and many in the Roman Empire faced a similar punishment. But this man was thought to be the savior of the world, but then he died. For his followers this death was unexpected, they believed he was the son of God, indestructible. But he died.

Most all of you know the story but three days after he was laid to rest in a tomb where he rose from the dead and was physically alive again. He beat death! This is the resurrection. I have been reading through N.T. Wright’s book “Surprised by Hope” and Wright explains that this unexpected resurrection was a culturally changing event. It changed history. Consider that in a very short period of time the day of worship changed from Saturday to Sunday.

Change is not new, we have all read our history books on movements and culture shifts, some have been good and some have been bad. But God is in charge of the wind and the wave, he is in control and he is allowing the winds of change to happen in our world.

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