Point The Camera
Recently, I saw an interview with a reporter who had been covering the “Arab spring” uprisings. My attention was heightened when she said that if you watched the news coverage of riots and protests you would think the whole city of Cairo was in turmoil. In actuality, she continued, if you just went a few blocks away, life was proceeding pretty much as it might normally be proceeding in any large city. The protesters knew where the cameras were and staged their protests accordingly. One wonders if the news so much points the camera at the action or if the action gets pointed toward the camera.
I have seen the same thing in daily life. I’ll be sitting in a funeral, for example, with people whose world has come to an end and be absorbed in the moment. But step outside the church and there are others whose day has not been affected at all; they’re just going about their business, not even slowing down for a life altering event. Or we’ll be in worship Sunday and feel the moment of the Spirit in this place. Then I’ll go to lunch at a local restaurant and there will be patrons present who had no clue what was happening a block away. I suppose it all depends on where we focus “the camera” through which we view life.
Kind of makes me wonder about Luke’s telling of the Day of Pentecost. Was all of Jerusalem swept up in the event or just those who happened to be gathered near where the disciples were? Something tells me that it was more than likely the latter. And while that was still a fairly large crowd (Luke tells us 3,000 responded to Peter’s sermon), you have to wonder: who missed it? Who was elsewhere in town and completely missed the first steps and first words of the Christian Church? Who was “minding their own business” and failed to see what God was up to? Who had their camera pointed in the wrong direction?
Don’t let that be you. This Sunday we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost by re-reading the story of that first day (Acts 2:1-21) and receiving again with wonder the gift of God’s Spirit enlivening, empowering, and emboldening the Church. We’ll commission the summer mission teams as “witnesses to the ends of the earth” and we’ll gather at the table to share in the meal that unites us in Christ and the Spirit. You’ll want to be zoomed in and focused on the right spot when it happens.
Grace and peace. rcf