In the conclusion of Scrooged, Bill Murray’s delightful 1988 rendering of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, television producer Frank Cross, flush with a second chance at life after three ghostly visits, introduces his reclaimed love interest on live television by pointing her towards the cameras and saying, “Claire, the whole world. Whole world, Claire.”
Okay, we get it that television, with the added impact of the Internet now gives us access to the whole world, but certainly he’s speaking metaphorically here. The whole world isn’t really watching. Well, maybe not, but the real truth, that has never been true until now is that they could be.
In Os Guinness’s new book, The Global Public Square, he makes this very argument, that “the whole world” is no longer a metaphor; it is a reality. He points toward Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006, and the cartoons and videos on the Internet that have incensed the Muslim world globally, and makes the following conclusion: “that even when we are not speaking to the world, we can be heard by the world, and the world can organize its response as never before. The whole world can now talk back to the whole world.”
And you thought we were only metaphorically speaking when we talk about taking the Gospel of Welcome to the whole world. Well let’s be honest here … I did … until now, as I realize as never before that this is no longer a metaphor. We really are talking about the whole world. Just take the mind-boggling fact that readers from 139 countries have tuned into the Catch. Who can get their mind around that?
Like never before, it’s important what we do and say. I think we should give special notice to Os’s statement that even when we are not necessarily speaking to the world, we can be heard by the world. How does that reality give new meaning to quietly and consistently living out the gospel? Such a thing is true globally, but it is also true in your neighborhood and mine. Even though we may not be speaking to the neighborhood, we can be heard by the neighborhood.
Bottom line: we are all living larger than we think. We can no longer think our life is insignificant. You can post a comment and reach 3 people or 3 billion people. You never know.
Keep it in mind today, and every day: Even when we aren’t speaking, someone is hearing. Live large. The whole world is watching.
Don’t miss our live broadcast tonight with Chuck Smith, Jr.
The whole world will be listening!