Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our World Community

"Go into all the world and proclaim the good news_
to the whole creation.@ (Mark 16:15)

Some of you may have seen the following article that has made the Aemail rounds@ in recent years, but I find it particularly pertinent and timely in our task and calling as Christians in light of the start of the XXXth Olympiad in London, England:

AIf we could shrink the earth=s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, then the world would be compromised of...
57 Asians
21 Europeans
8 Africans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
52 would be female and 48 would be male
70 would be nonwhite and 30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian and 30 would be Christian
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world=s wealth,
and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read this article
1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death, and 1 would be near birth.

So, if you woke up this morning with more health than illness, then you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.  If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of physical torture, or the pangs of starvation, then you are ahead of 500 million other people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, then you are richer than 75% of the world.  If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, then you are among the top 8% of the world=s wealthy.  If you can read this message, then you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world that cannot read at all.@
Of course, my point in sharing this article is NOT for us to be prideful about (or even just thankful for) our Ablessings@, lest we find ourselves inadvertently wearing the attitude ALord, I=m thankful I=m not like them!@ (read Luke 18:9-12).

Instead, I share this to heighten our awareness of the great diversity of our world (a diversity not only highlighted by the quadrennial Olympic Games, but all around us in our own community), and the great task and calling we have as Christians to help transform it for the better.

I once read that Christians are not called to Amake a difference@ in the world, but that we are instead called to Abe the difference@ in our world.  The way Jesus said it, we are to be the Asalt@ and Alight@ of our world (Matthew 5:13-14).  How are you being salt and light B Athe difference of God@ B in your part of our world?  Remember that God loves you and I do, too!

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