My 22-year-old son is scared. Like most Millennials, he has a global perspective largely shaped by the internet, and that perspective is not a good one. We live in a time of great uncertainty. Political unrest, division, authoritarian world leaders vying for control, economic instability, massive inflation, global warming, lies and conspiracies everywhere, world hunger, water shortages, fires and floods, hackers stealing our privacy, loss of credibility, fear and loss of hope. The famous line from Dante’s Inferno at the gates of hell, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” seems to apply as much to stepping into an average day today as it does to crossing the line into the underworld.
As Marti and I and Chandler talked about these things just last night, I realized afresh how frightening life appears to everyone, but especially to the younger generations. That’s because Millennials like my son have their entire adult life ahead of them in the world the older ones are leaving. “Sayonara,” they say. “Good luck with that.” God forbid any of our older Catch members have that kind of attitude, but it still doesn’t hit an older person as hard as it hits a younger one.
As we talked I felt more and more anxious for Chandler, and yet frustrated in terms of what I could and couldn’t do to help him. All of my answers were spiritual, and though I know he believes, spiritual answers don’t always reach the pain.
What is going on, and what does faith look like in today’s world?
What’s going on is that we are nearing the end, where Jesus said that unless those days were cut short, there would be no soul saved. The destruction of the earth is certainly a live possibility right now. What does faith look like with that in mind? We’re going to find out the long answer to that in the next few weeks as we bring 14 characteristics of the Jesus Movement forward to today, but first, it looks like unity. It looks like a coming together of believers worldwide, online, and in our own back yards. It looks like believers of all stripes, races, denominations, worship styles, and liturgies coming together under one banner, the one found in Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is (1)one body and (2)one Spirit, just as you were called to (3)one hope when you were called; (4)one Lord, (5)one faith, (6)one baptism; (7)one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” That is it. No mention of denominations, organizations, structures, personalities. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and all the believers who have been baptized into his body is what this is. It’s so simple, it’s almost elementary. And how important is that with the complications of all that is going on right now? It’s very important. John Lennon was half right, for a world without religion leaves open the possibility of a world where the body of Christ and God Himself is the only truth you can trust.
Think of all the trappings of faith and all the various identities we take on in our bodies of worship falling away and leaving us with nothing but these seven things to hold us together.
This is why the internet is so well-suited for bringing together believers of all stripes, nationalities, ethnicities and loyalties. On line you can’t tell. On line it doesn’t matter. On line you are a soul with a spirit.
This is why what we are doing here at the Catch is so important and why we are seeking your support as we seek to round out our campaign this week. So check out the challenges below and consider how you can best Go Live in your support of the Catch and our commitment to the entire body of Christ, worldwide, without reservation.
And finally, focus on unity. With so much divisiveness in the world, the body of Christ is the one thing that can bring us all together. And we need this now more that ever, because the time is short.
And finally, the one thing that gave Chandler some hope was his involvement in the Catch and his challenge to me to lead. He said that if I would lead the way to getting the message out and increasing our reach, as one who sees the world through the eyes of his generation, he would watch my back. Part of Chandler’s fear is solved by doing something about it. And don’t forget all the rest of those at the Catch — boots on the ground all of them!
I would implore you, that is well worth supporting.
One thing you may want to share with Chandler (if you haven’t already) is the importance of rest. And, not the kind of rest where you relax in blind ignorance or put your feet up and take a nap (although that can be important at times, too).
No – while the internet, world events, politics, acts of terror and sowing fear all grapple for our attention with glaring “breaking news” distractions and bullhorn disruptions, we need to purposely set aside time to simply rest from the world.
We all need a regular and consistent Sabbath rest, the kind of rest that indeed gives us the Peace of heart and mind that sustains us through each day, week, month, and year.
Here is a lovely devotion from Yael Eckstein entitled “Our Rest from the World”:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
~ John 14:27