Devotion

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Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

One hundred years ago this month, playwright and fiction writer Karel Capek introduced to the world the term robot. It was part of a 1921 play called “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” In the finale, the robots dispensed with all the humans, leaving themselves at a loss for how to replicate their kind. Finally, two robots somehow acquire a human-like semblance of love and set out to make a new world. The storyline, of course, was fiction — to be specific, “science fiction.” But if “yesterday’s science fiction” is, as some say, “today’s science reality,” then clearly Capek’s robots didn’t succeed. A century later, technology is prolific; yet, the world remains as broken as ever. Perhaps the future does not lie in the “technological fix” as billed.

Here in January 2021, there is much public discourse about a new post-COVID world, the “Great Reset.” And some are suggesting the reset mechanism will be technology and the reset result will be “technocracy.” Indeed “Big Tech” has emerged as undisputed power brokers on the world scene. It seems the COVID epidemic has created a context that’s expedited their rise to power. A culture already addicted to technology is now being controlled by the same. Recent reports of systematic censorship of entire ideological blocs are disturbing. If that is a glimpse of the “reset” in view, then “disturbing” is an understatement. Don’t forget the Church and the Gospel it proclaims represent a massive bloc of people called Christians.

To be sure, there is no “reset” — human, robotic or otherwise — that can deliver a new world where righteousness, in the Biblical sense, reigns. In fact, proposals for New World Orders in every generation are actually just new renditions of the old fallen world order that is morally and spiritually bankrupt. Since Adam and Eve sinned and were driven from Eden, this world’s order has been one of disorder.

The only “reset” that will accomplish a new order of things is the one planned by God. He promises such for His people: “Behold, I will do something new; it will spring forth. Will you be aware of it?” (Isaiah 43:19) He promises such for individual Christians: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, new things have come.” (II Corinthians 5:17) And He promises such for creation: “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelations 21:5)

Whatever “resets” the world has in mind will certainly not be new and will definitely not bring order. The new order humanity needs is the one God offers through the regenerating power of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. It is received by those who humbly fold the hand, bow the head, and bend the knee before His Lordship. Those who do are afforded a “newness” that is a daily experience. As Scripture says, “The Lord’s loving kindnesses never cease; His compassions never fail, for they are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Let the world — yes, let us — be “reset,” but let it begin with a great revival of commitment and recommitment to Him whose reset is not only new but eternally so.

Ed Clevinger is minister of Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.

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Ed Clevinger is minister of Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.