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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New neighbors?

We are getting our first taste of immigration up here in the North. This is not the Canadians coming down, but rather, people from across the country who are here to work. We have jobs, seemingly lots of them, although for most of them you are screened for drugs, and well...we have lots of jobs.

We ran into a guy who moved here from Georgia to work at a restaurant, and another who transferred here to work retail, and folks are too happy to have them. A friend of mine who hires for the local Sam's Club is always looking for people to work, and he is regularly short 5 people per shift.

So I read stories about how tough the job market is, how people are scrambling for anything, and I have 5 help wanted signs I can see from my window. I like this part of living here: the new people, the crowded streets--it is exciting, as the roads we have are found inadequate, and the habits and mores we have developed are found to be exclusive (and probably prejudiced too), and all in all the good old culture we have shared gets shaken up a bit.

I have been in this kind of transition before in other places like Chicago, IL or Austin, TX. Certain kinds of people dig in their heels, build huge walls and trenches, and refuse to acknowledge their changing reality. Others open up their arms and doors to folks who may not have anything in common with them, but they find the newness and energy exotic. As I watch my neighbors up and down the street deal with this change, you can tell who is who with relative ease...

They say the first century that Jesus lived in was also a time fo cultural change, as constantly expanding empires has reached the limits of their technology, and people were making do as the world got smaller and larger at the same time. Jesus, of course, did his part as well, trying to shake up the local Jewish culture and tradition...but he died for it...but he was part of it.

I don't know, and can't predict the future, but it does seem to me that a couple of things are going to be radically different in 2012 than they are even now in 2010. For one thing, this immigration is going to really heat up, as people who have stagnated over the past 10 years of economic uncertainty make the inevitable moves as time marches on...But even more so the world is not stopping...God continually grows and creates, redeems and blesses, so that life moves on whether we are ready for it or not...the internet allows me to believe I am relevant in New Zealand or wherever I am read...soon, I may have a neighbor from New Zealand...and that would be new...and not a little bit exciting.

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