Passing on the Torch - 35 Years from Now: Time Capsule Sunday

Thirty five years from now I will be 85, a few years older than my own father is today. Think of how different the world is today than in 1980 (when I was only 15 years old) and yet, most likely the changes in the next 35 years will far exceed the changes of the past. Technology is creating changes at an exponential rate so it’s hard to imagine what life will be like in 2050, but here’s some predictions from various experts:

-          our 7 billion person planet will have 9.6 billion people (of which half of the world’s population will be from China and India)

-          one in every five or six people will be over the age of 65 years old

-          computers will increase to such a degree that we have to wonder if artificial intelligence will take the form of robots that are humanlike? Will such computers even threaten our understanding of humanity?

-          Will the threat of terrorism and violence only increase worldwide and become the new norm?

-          If the inequality between rich and poor continues to increase, what will that mean, and what will happen?

-          Will the lack of fundamental and necessary resources, like limited sources of clean water and energy, only lead to more wars?

-          some predictions can be extremely pessimistic, and yet some there will obviously be great strides in medicine, science, and technology that will try to handle potential disasters that await us.

Changes are surely coming, and some changes will be quite radical! Yet, as much as the future brings about changes, some things will never change. Look at human nature, and how it has not changed over the past thousand years. In fact, our human character and nature hasn’t really changed over millennia. The fundamental vices of pride, greed, lust, envy, anger, and laziness haven’t changed at all in human beings. These vices have tempted humanity from generation to generation since the beginning of time, and the will continue to tempt us and lead us astray.

Of course, what makes people ultimately happy and content, and what gives the most meaning and purpose in life, will also not change. The virtues of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, humility and faithfulness will still stand as the foundation of what makes life worth living.

In the future with all its changes, we will still need sources of hope, of inspiration, of comfort, of guidance and direction. People will look in all directions to find such sources of life, and yet, the ultimate source of life will remain the same. Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)

No matter how much life changes in the next 35 years, and no matter how much science advances to prolong life, death will still be the ultimate end for all people. And the finality of death has always posed a problem for humanity. And Jesus Christ will still be the answer. Christ the conqueror of death, the victor over satan, sin and darkness will still be the answer – even 35 years from now.

So what is my message to this Church in the year AD 2050? What word do I want to offer to the future priest, to the future parishioners of this Church Family 35 years from now? I want to tell them that we were a community of faith that found inspiration, that found comfort, that found hope, that found direction and light through our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. This community of faith revealed to us the path that leads to ultimate purpose and meaning in life, that leads to the deepest joy and peace that one can find in life, that leads to the deepest relationships of love, a love with one another but even more so a love with our Creator and Sustainer of Life.

This community of faith has received the “pearl of great price,” the immeasurable treasure of our Orthodox Christian faith and tradition from our forbearers, and we are passing this jewel of faith on to our children and grandchildren, to the future generations! And our prayer for you, the future generations, is that you will hold on to this faith! The world around you may fall away and forget its heritage and roots, yet in every generation there is a remnant, a group of faithful people who hold on to the tradition and who are enriched by this treasure of faith! Our deepest prayer is that this remnant will include you.

Don’t forget the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who encouraged a group of persecuted Christians at the end of the first century with these words, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8) These words spoken almost 2000 years ago still ring true today, and will be just as true 35 years from now. Life will change and society will seem quite different in AD 2050, and yet, the essence of life and the fundamental beauty of life will remain the same.

Our prayer is that there will still be a vibrant community of faith, a living, dynamic and life-giving Sts. Constantine and Helen Church Family 35 years from now who is experiencing the “abundant life” that Jesus Christ promises and offers. Don’t be fooled by the changes of the world, but remain faithful to the rock of salvation that never changes.

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