I read a social media post that said the satirical newspaper, “The Onion,” was going out of print. The editorial team could no longer come up with funny, fake news that was as absurd as the real news.
Here are a few whacky true things in the current news cycle. There is talk of our government starting a new branch of the military called, “Space Force,” which may never send a human into space. Soldiers will engage in Satellite vs Satellite warfare from the ground. The FAA approved drones to make fast food deliveries in a North Carolina town replacing human pizza delivery jobs. There is an online high school virtual reality sports team. The players take the field in their own living rooms across the globe using a gaming system that can track bodily movements. And now internet giant, Google, says its artificial intelligence system can predict when a smart watch user will die with 95% accuracy based on the users’ exercise, sleep, and eating habits. It can eliminate the need for doctors with online prescriptions and drone deliveries. The future is here. It is digitized, computerized, and void of interpersonal contact.
Deliveries, doctor visits, sports, and even war no longer require a face-to-face encounter. We may have negative gut reactions to this new world. We may long for the glory days of old. Those feelings don’t change reality. The digital revolution is here.
So how do we as Christians live into this stranger than fiction new world? Well, we do what disciples of Christ have always done. We jump into the middle of the foray. We don’t run from the world around us. We dive in head first. We live as people of Christ in the midst of the world. We don’t build some sequestered commune bent on keeping things as they were. We live into the new way showing Christ as a light.
This September, we will begin a fall series called, “What Disciples Do.” Disciples have lived through 2,000 years of ever changing history. They remained faithful to the lessons of the first disciples as the world changed around them. We will talk about some of those lessons in detail, as we follow the disciples of Jesus in the gospel of Luke. We will talk about what it means to follow Jesus in the digital age and what it means to search for meaning in an age of instant answers. We will hear about being faithful in little things, saying what needs to be said, and being humble. Disciples have always asked hard questions about life and faith. They have learned to keep on keeping on in a world of fear. They learned to make their wrongs right, and they found hope in Jesus when all else seemed trivial. I hope you, as a disciple of Christ, will join us in person or online for the next series, “What Disciples Do!”
Rev. Trey Hegar