The whole world is watching

th-2In 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!

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8 Responses to The whole world is watching

  1. This is too funny that it’s the subject of your devotion today. I was just thinking how the internet has almost created a “bully world”. Your devotion quickly reminds us that it doesn’t have to be used that way! Today is a good day to be kind and loving to someone online today. When you were going to make a snarky comment, or a mean tweet, instead find something nice to say or a way to turn it to a positive! God travels round the world and back millions of times a day on those positive vibes!

  2. David Morgereth says:

    This reminds me of the story of Eric Liddell (as portrayed in the move Chariots Of Fire, and yes, I’m dating myself here). I doubt that, when he quietly held to his convictions while participating in the Olympics, he had any idea, that the story would be retold 60 years later in a movie that would be seen by millions of people.

  3. Carole in Midland says:

    Kinda scary, this. Remember the game we played in school – one person whispers a statement to another who passes it on, who passes it on, etc. etc. and the last person repeats what he/she heard – remember how we laughed at the differences from the original statement? If 30 folks can’t get it right, think about what you say passing through billions of sets of ears and how it might be passed on to billions more through inaccurate word of mouth. Now think of the language and cultural differences and how what another heard (even if heard correctly) didn’t come across as you intended? No WONDER the scriptures remind us of the power of the tongue and the need to bring it under control – no easy task for any of us, much less those of us who are blurters by nature, like me! But all is not lost – my very first pastor said something that I still find profound – “You can say anything to anyone [even in a setting of conflict], as long as it is said in love.” …Doesn’t mean you won’t still have to duck for cover, though! 🙂

  4. Mark Seguin says:

    I think this is very ecxiting: “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.”

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