The Future for Jesus

September 20, 2015

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The 17th Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 20 
Proverbs 31:10-31; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8; Mark 9:30-37

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

PChPT_AndrewDoyle_1This past Friday I spent the morning at All Saints, in Atlanta. Bishop Andy Doyle was there – he’s the bishop from my home diocese in Texas. He was talking about his new book: Church: A Generous Community Amplified for the Future.

Pointing to the future, he shared a couple of videos. These videos included images like self-driving cars, and 3-D printers that not only create parts for cars, but implantable organs for our bodies. driverlesscarsWe saw integrated technologies that anticipate our every need, and a tube-passenger train that gets us from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. Some of these futuristic imaginings are already underway, while others are only in their early stages – but all could be viable in the next fifty years.

24264D6F00000578-2879730-image-a-1_1418938968877Bishop Doyle pointed out that the business world thinks a lot about the future. It looks at current trends and considers shifts in cultural behavior. From there, it explores the possibilities of what is needed to meet future needs, and then begins to lead society in a direction of what the next reality will look like for us.

In our time together, Bishop Doyle challenged us, as clergy, to do some of this same kind of future-looking work in the church. He pointed out that the church isn’t historically good at this kind of future-looking work, which is probably true. But, I don’t think this is unique to our generation. I don’t even think it’s unique to Christianity. We get a sense of how difficult making shifts to new things can be, even 2000 years ago, when Jesus came to start a new thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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