I was amused to read the following news report, “The bad news is tens of millions of people along the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada may drown if the slow slippage of a volcano off North Africa becomes a cataclysmic collapse. But the good news is the world is not likely to be destroyed by an asteroid any time soon. Scientist Bill McGuire told a news conference on natural disasters this week that some time in the next few thousand years the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma will collapse, sending walls of water 100 meters high racing across the Atlantic.” Hmmm. Are we really supposed to worry about something that might happen in “the next few thousand years”? As if I don’t have enough to worry about today?
Now, in the big picture, I’m all for governments and organizations addressing the long-term global issues we face. For example, I think that getting nations to cooperate to create a tsunami detection system in Asia is a good idea. I’m glad that there are those who look out for these kinds of issues. Still, I think that practically speaking, there’s more important “stuff” in my life to focus on today. I’m going to leave worrying about volcanoes to the professionals.
I believe that for most Christ-followers, God wants us to focus on making an influence on our small world – the world we experience everyday in our workplaces, schools, communities and neighborhoods. We do this by reaching out with the life-changing message of Jesus – both in what we do and in what we say. Life isn’t easy. We are all subject to “volcanoes and asteroids” – of sorts – ones that can destroy and crush in everyday life settings such as in relationships, in health, and in economic and justice issues. Are we making any difference in and for the people with whom we spend our lives? Do they see the love of Christ in us? Do we reach out beyond our own self-interests and serve others in ways that help protect, preserve and enrich their lives? Or, do we just talk a good game when it comes to sharing the gospel, but just walk on by when we see someone in need?
Here’s the bad news: We can’t do anything about saving the eastern seaboard from the effects of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in a couple of thousand years from now. But, the good news is that since each one of us has been empowered with the Word and the Spirit to make a positive difference right where we live, we should have time to do so since it’s not likely that the world will be destroyed by an asteroid any time soon. What a relief!
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1. How have you fallen short in caring for others around you?
2. Think of one specific action you can take to demonstrate the love of Christ to someone you regularly spend time with – outside of your own immediate family. Make a commitment to follow through with that action within the next week.
Luke 10:25-37; James 2:14-26; Philippians 2:4
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