A Whole New World!

This past Monday was Columbus Day. And while in today’s America there is less celebration and more criticism of the Italian explorer, no one can deny the historical import of Christopher Columbus. Setting out on August 3, 1492 from Palos, Spain, he arrived on the easternmost isle of the Bahamas, San Salvador, on October 12. In subsequent voyages Columbus would explore many of the Lesser and Greater Antilles, the mainland of South America (Venezuela) and the east coast of Central America. While he was not the first European to reach the American continent, his four voyages led to the long-term European colonization of the new world – and so changed the world!
What I find most fascinating about Columbus’ story is his belief that the earth was spherical, like a ball; not a flat disc, like a coin (as was commonly believed). Columbus wasn’t the first to suggest this counter theory to the “flat earth,” but he was perhaps the first to be in a position to prove it – funded by the new king and queen of Spain. Of course, there were practical reasons for the expedition, but I would imagine that many of Columbus’ contemporaries thought he had “gone off the deep end” (pun intended)! One thing for sure, nobody, not even Columbus, had any idea what he would stumble onto – an uncharted continent, a new hemisphere, a whole new world!
As Christians, we have something in common with Columbus. Like him, we don’t buy into the popular notions of our time – the scientific, social and philosophical opinions of our day. We believe in another “dimension.” We believe that there is more to this world than the “flat one,” the natural realm seen by the naked eye. The world, meanwhile, is filled with one dimensional “flat thinkers” – deceived deceivers, who can’t think “out of the box.” They believe in a self-made universe that somehow organized itself into perfect clockwork, then somehow spawned “life,” which somehow evolved over time with increasing complexity. And the greater deception is the belief that we are now the masters of our own destiny, charting our own course into the future! People need to know the truth about our origin, purpose and destiny – that we were made by God, made for God and are going back to God!
Columbus’ faith and determination finally afforded him the opportunity to step out – to “set sail” from his old world to discover a new one. And so it is with us: our faith in the Creator and His Son (as “discovered” in the Gospel) gives us the opportunity to “set sail” from this old sinful world and arrive on the shore of a whole new world! And, truly, everything is “new” in Christ, isn’t it? There is a “new birth” (John 3.3-5), in which the Lord makes us “new creatures” (2 Cor 5.17), so we can live a “new life” (Rom 6.4), with a “new hope” (1 Peter 1.3-4), while we await “a new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3.13)!
Brothers and sisters, let’s tell the world what we’ve discovered: There is another dimension to life and a whole new world in Jesus Christ!
Rich Howell

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