By James C. Sprouse, Senior Pastor
Let me tell you a story about what life looked like in the US 100 years ago. The year is 1914. US population was around 99,000,000. Jonas Salk was born on October 28, and Babe Ruth signed with Boston for $3,500. The average monthly wage was $577 and the average house cost $6,100. The average life expectancy was 52 years; about 16% of Americans had a bathtub; 10% had a phone; there were only 10,000 cars in the US; maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph; Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California; a painter earned 50 cents/hour and a plumber 69 cents/hour for 44 hour work weeks; a dentist earned $2,500 per year, a veterinarian $1,500 and a mechanical engineer about $5,000; 90% of births took place at home; top five leading health causes of death: pneumonia, TB, diarrhea, heart disease, stroke; yet 50% of the worker deaths in the US were in only 2 industries: coal and railroads; heroin was made illegal without a prescription. How things have changed.
At the birth of Jesus of Nazareth the population of the world was 200 million. At the close of 2013 it is 7.04 billion. So, let me tell you a story about what life looks like in the rest of the world in this year. If we could shrink the Earth’s population to a village of exactly 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the world would look like this: 60 Asians, 11 Europeans, 15 Africans, and 14 from the Americas; 50 would be female and 50 male; 67 would be non-Christian and 33 Christian; 89 would be heterosexual and 11 homosexual; 6 people would possess 60% of all the earth’s wealth; 72 would live in substandard housing; 83 are able to read; 50 suffer from malnutrition; 1 is near death and 1 is near birth.
Now, let me tell you one more story. You, I and all who worship with God at Trinity Church are on a grand adventure together with Jesus Christ. Jesus knows how badly things in His world are out of balance. And He expects His church to address human needs and conditions on a global scale. Only God knows what wonderful challenges and adventures lay ahead for us in year 2014; what new faces will join our happy throng; what familiar faces will disappear from our earthly fellowship. We are all just passing through time. We, each of us, have only a limited time in which to address the world’s needs we have inherited from our previous generations. We can see the incredible changes that occurred in the US over the last 100 years. What if the entire world could experience such dramatic, life-altering change. With full confidence that God knows where our journeys meet, let’s embrace one another and the global community with an esprit de corps. and enthusiasm for ministry together with Christ that continues proclaiming the greatest story being told.