Sunday, March 20, 2011

Making Connections

It always amazes me how not alone we are. In contemporary society, with access to the internet, cell phones, iPads, etc., out world has become smaller in many ways. If I meet a person in class, in a coffee shop, or even on the street and we happen to strike up a conversation, it would not be surprising to get home later that day and have a friend request from them on Facebook. It really is amazing how simple communication has gotten. Take my Facebook friends for example. I have “friends” in Malawi, Uganda, Central Asia, Hungry, South Korea, and China among others in addition to the Untied States. Now granted I have been to many of these countries, and of the ones I have not been to, I know people currently living there. Some of the countries where I have Facebook friends though I have never been to in my life! Yet in my travels I have met people from these countries who have returned home and added me as their Facebook friend. We are connected, even if it is just through a series of signals and wires that ties us ultimately together. In fact, this blog is regularly checked by at least one person in Japan!

We live in an age where it only takes a day to get to the other side of the world and make new connections. I do not consider myself a well traveled person and yet there are only two continents that I have not been to. It really is mind boggling to think of the access we have to other cultures and other ways of thinking.

These are very tumultuous times. With political unrest all across Africa and the Middle East, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that recently crippled Northern Japan leaving them in a nuclear crisis, and oh yeah, the rest of the worlds problems it is a wonder that I still find time to complain about high gas prices. Here we are, living in a world that is so intimately connected in so many ways, yet more often than not, we choose to live as hermits, concerned with nothing but our own well being, pretending that we are alone. We act as though everyone else’s problems are unwelcome when in reality, everyone else’s problems should ultimately be ours as well.

Now I’m not saying we should all take on the burden of caring for every person who is going through a hard time, in that regard we need only care for those close to us or for whom we feel burdened to care for. What I am saying is this: Large scale evil happens in our world every day and as a people intimately, intrinsically, and easily connected to each other, we have a responsibility to address the evil that we see; the evil of hurting people in Japan; the evil of malaria in Africa; the evil of the devastation in Haiti; the evil of child sex trafficking all across the world.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. – Colossians 1:19-20

God is working to bring back and restore everything to the way it was originally intended to be. As the people of God we are responsible for working toward this reconciliation. In fact the apostle Paul tells us that Christ has given us the “ministry of reconciliation” (Romans 5:18), he has given us the responsibility to continue what he began and to take care of the broken people regardless of whether or not we like them or whether or not whether or not they share our beliefs and convictions. We are called, we are invited, to be making connections.