“Yes, We Can!”
Who do you think of when you read or hear those three words? A young African American senator from Chicago, Illinois, became President Barack Obama, riding these three words all the way to the White House. He stirred a lethargic “we the people” nation to respond and make progress. He inspired a cynical generation, suspicious and disenchanted of the political scene. He challenged us to throw off apathy and distrust and make a difference. He believed and others began to believe in him.
My point in this is not political. It is motivational. As we gaze at the 40/50 Window in our churches and communities throughout America and the world, we are challenged. It is time to hear again the voice of Jesus responding to a man who came to him saying, “Do something if you can.” Jesus replied, “If I can? Anything is possible if you have faith” (Mark 9:22-23).
Forty percent of America is now 50+ in age and what is true here is happening elsewhere as well. The ‘40/50 Window’ has opened onto a gentle, but powerful revolution. You and I are quietly transforming the world just by being here. Yet while education and commerce, arts and entertainment, government and media make serious inroads into this window, the church has assumed a position that is largely smug and self-satisfied. Longevity’s gentle revolution has come home to a church often missing out on throwing open wide this window of fresh opportunity to engage its young and its master elders in its mission.
Jesus once said to his disciples, “Do you not say,’There are yet four months, then comes the harvest?’ I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see the fields are already white for harvest” (John 4:35 RSV). Their early on responses to most challenges of this sort had been something like, “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish…what are these among so many?” (In other words, “Do something, Lord, if you can.”)
The 21st century church today has its own set of challenges, not unlike those of our nation. ‘We the people’ of faith are the body of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, but all too often we see only with wishful “Do something if you can” eyes and not the “Yes, we can” eyes of true faith.
He has promised. “For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6
Yes, with God, we can!