Distributing the Future

Science fiction writer William Gibson is credited with making the following comment: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” I find this to be a fascinating remark, which can be read as a strong word of hope for all people of faith. Evidence that the future is here can be seen in the incredible advances in technology that have re-shaped much of world in just the past decade. Given how prevalent “smartphones” now are, how ubiquitous the practice of texting one another now is, and how casually we buy something through the Internet or download a book onto our electronic devices, the future has become commonplace in our present lives. Yet such “smart” technology is not uniformly available in our country, much less around the world. Nor are the benefits from it evenly and fairly distributed to all people.

Within the Presbyterian Church, there is much talk about our new openness to ordaining church leaders and ministers regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. This long-awaited “future” position of inclusivity toward gays and lesbians is finally here. Yet there are still many churches who reject that God’s call is so generously distributed, and who preach that God’s love does not extend to people in same-gender relationships. Clearly more work remains to be done to ensure that the biblical commitment to full inclusion is more evenly distributed in our own denomination.

Christ has said, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.” The good news of Christ’s healing, justice-seeking, redeeming message is at the heart of what we remember during the season of Lent. When that message is combined with the hope captured in the “resurrection joy” of Easter, then the gospel aspect of Gibson’s quote becomes quite clear. The future promise of God’s realm is in our midst, but it needs to be more evenly distributed. May the Presbyterian Church (USA) and each one of us join with God’s Spirit in distributing this good news in the days and weeks to come.

Randy Bush
Pastor, East Liberty Presbyterian Church
Pittsburgh, PA

 

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