On the plane coming back from Nairobi a few days ago, I sat next to a law student from Switzerland who had just attended a global meeting of young activists for Amnesty International. She was debating with herself about whether her Africa trip would lower her grades on her end-of-year exams in three weeks. She hoped not, since her parents had already let her know that the time she spent organizing campus events for Amnesty might be better spent studying.
I have to salute young people who take such risks in order to make a difference in the world, standing up against injustice, torture, and abuse. But there is pity in my salute.
If the young see themselves as the generation that can make a real difference in the world by trying a little harder, being better mobilized and organized, and having more technology at their command, they are thinking exactly what many previous generations thought at their age, and they are in for the same let-down even though technology has vastly improved. They will gradually spend more time on their exams or careers and less on their activism.
But suppose the young saw themselves in Christ, that is, suppose they believed that Jesus Christ wants to make a difference in the world, and that he has chosen to make it through people like them. Suppose he has an uncanny ability to transfer some of his power to them so they become like him and can make the difference he wants them to make without any compassion fatigue or burnout.
Suppose he has already done something that makes that power available! Suppose that all they have to do to tap that power is to align the difference they want to make with the difference he wants them to make. Suppose they actually begin to see themselves in Christ (SYNC). His power would purify them and unify the world through them. Talk about making a difference!
And the best part of this story is that all those "supposes" are simply getting into SYNC with what Jesus Christ already did on Pentecost Day--sent his empowering Spirit onto his followers. This is so important that we devote the longest season of the SYNC annual cycle to it. From May 10th through August 6th is Power Season. We have almost three months to get our minds around the meaning of Pentecost, celebrate it, and live it. Start here and make a difference in your world.