By ARPA Canada (www.ARPACanada.ca), December 2009: The first decade of the new millennium is almost over. Before we saunter into the new year and new decade, it is good to pause and reflect. What can we learn from this past decade or year? How have we, as Christians, lived up to our calling as prophets, priests, and kings in this increasingly secular society?
As we went through this decade we have been more aware of what is going on than ever before. With the growth of the internet and the prevalence of the media, we have been updated on world and local news on an hourly basis. We have become a “facebook” society. Our concerns moved from one issue to the next at a dizzying pace. Only weeks ago the world was gripped with fear about a flu “pandemic” and the need to be protected by government-funded inoculations. Now the attention has shifted to Copenhagen and the frenzied call to reduce our “carbon footprint” (even though carbon is the basic building block of life). If it isn’t a political scandal that has our attention for the moment, it probably is a scandal involving someone from the entertainment or sports industry, or someone in our own community. We jump from one sensation to the next, chasing whatever we find stimulating.
If there is one word to describe church members in this decade, it would have to be “busy.” Every time we ask each other how we are doing, the answer seems to include a reference to how swamped we are. We seem to be constantly busy. But who dares question what exactly we are busy with? How much has the “facebook” culture penetrated our own lives?
One troubling result of the frenzied state we are in is that we easily focus too much attention on trivial matters (of course we are led to believe they are really important) and not nearly enough on some things that we really should be thinking and praying about. Have we been loving God? Have we been loving our neigbour, both within and outside of our church community?
ARPA Canada has been very encouraged to see a substantial increase in the attention that is being devoted by Christians to living their faith and taking action in response to social and political issues in 2009. But there is so much room for growth. May this next decade be a time where church members more fully reflect what we are taught on Sundays by living as a counter-cultural community through the entire week. When we look back on the second decade at the close of 2019, may it be said that we didn’t get caught up in the frenzy of this world but rather demonstrated our faith in our providential and sovereign God.
Take time this December to step off of the merry-go-round, find a quiet place, pray, and set goals for serving God in 2010.