I would love to know how many electronic messages we all sent this year. Internal emails and instant messages, video conferences (Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting, Google Meet), Internet (email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn), display message boards (McDonald’s, Mayo Clinic, billboards), and so forth. Billions, no, trillions of messages.
In 2019, Americans sent 2.1 trillion text messages and 293 billion emails. This year, for Facebook, worldwide, there were over 2.74 billion monthly active users as of October 29th. Just think back on the number of memes you read this year. Five years ago, you probably didn’t know what a meme was; now it’s how you get your workday started. Messages are burying all of us!
With COVID, a significant election, employment turmoil, and chaotic modes of education, this year must hold the record for the most messages sent but not read, ever. By the time we reached December, message fatigue set in and dulled our minds. We’re like pack animals, loaded with unread posts, tweets, and emails, limping along with no clue where we’re going or when we’ll get there. And every message declares its utmost urgency.
With no end in sight of this message tsunami, how do you and I communicate the essential message of all: Jesus Saves. Many Christians have been distracted this year from this matter of singular importance. There are so many needs, so many demands, so many concerns, shouldn’t we focus on those and worry about eternity later? Well, no. not really. The Good News is that we don’t face a Solomon decision; we don’t have to split the baby (1 Kings 3:16-28).
A time for action
Need births openness, which births receptivity, which births opportunities for change. Most of the time, most people are unwilling to change any aspect of their lives, but there’s truth in the saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”
We, as Christians, are in an unprecedented time of harvest. As Jesus said, “...Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest…” (John 4:35) And again, Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) People want help. People are afraid. People are seeking. Our message must be “Jesus Save.”
While we tell the Good News, we must serve material needs.
A practical example
To give you a true-life, practical example, I’ll share one act of love that my wife has shone (Don’t tell her that I shared this).
My wife is far more effective at identifying and serving needs than I am. One example is that many months ago, my wife was getting ready to drive out of our Kroger’s parking lot when she noticed a young woman sitting on a bench waiting for the bus. She could tell this lady had a need, so she rolled down the window and asked her if she needed a ride. She said yes, and since that time, my wife has driven her home many times, brought her home for a cook-out, gone on site-seeing rides, and recently took her to see the Christmas lights in our park.
This young woman had never been on a drive to see Christmas lights. She asked if they could stop and ride the small train in our park, so they enjoyed the lights and the message of Christmas. That’s how easy it is to find someone to tell this most salient message of all.