I have been reading with interest some "prophecies" for 2009 and even some beyond that. I have read many "notable deaths" of famous people who passed in 2008.
In the spring of 2008, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency delivered a speech in which he described three trends distinguishing the 21st century from the 20th. He listed them as (1) exploding populations of poor places, (2) growing divisions between the United States and Europe, and (3) China's emergence.
Each of these have implications far beyond our little denominational tiffs and church wars. In fact, each of them are opportunities for the people of God, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be salt and light in our finest hour. The issues of poverty and health, peacemaking, and the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ weave their way through these problems.
Certainly the need is not always the call, but it is always the opportunity. We know who died in 2008. But who was born?
Is it too out-of-the-box to pray and dream that in 2008 there was one born who will one day look at their world of population and poverty explosions and find ways to alleviate some human need? Could God have given us one in 2008 who will be a Godly world leader by mid-century?
How many church leaders were born in 2008? Who will educate them and where will they serve? Will they have to do as many of their parents and leave the church of their childhood in order to find a place of service? Will their parents reject their love for the same Lord simply because they don't love the same worship format? Could theirs be the generation of reconciliation? Progress is being made even now, so let's pray that is not even an issue for them.
How may health professionals were born in 2008? Could it be that one or more may find a cure for some of the world's dreaded diseases?
Maybe one born in 2008 will develop not just an alternate form of fuel, but even an alternate form of transportation! Or perhaps one will pioneer an alternate form of exchange that will alleviate much poverty.
Yes, these are dreams. But is a dream inside the will of God impossible? Some may say this is utopia. Not really. People and problems, even the poor, will be with us always. But our role is be salt and light and do our part in our niche to serve God and improve our world.
So, as we close 2008, I am not thinking so much of who passed (although they are important and should be noted) as I am thinking of those who discovered this world in 2008. Let's pray for them and perhaps some of us, or at least our children, will get to see what God does with the 2008 "models".