Here are the highlights from a CNN article talking about historic events happening in one year:
North Korea made overtures to war. Americans disputed the legitimacy of a war. Civil Rights abuses included key leaders being killed. The globe was pulled together by new technologies. Athletes protested during national anthems. Human sexuality was on the forefront of cultural changes. Humans expanded their capacity for space exploration.
Of course that article is entitled, "Eight Unforgettable Ways 1968 Made History".
It has been said there are many parallels to America today and America in 1968. Part of the overall feel between then and now is the feeling that everything is all falling apart. The wheels have come off. There is too much upheaval and unrest and we are not sure how long the lid can hold down the inevitable doom.
I was not alive in 1968, so I trust the media, institutions, and individuals who tell the stories of that time. I trust that it was a "wheels off" time. I trust that this year may very well feel like 1968. I also trust that everyone I have spoken with says that while today fells like 1968, 1968 was much worse. Which is why I want to point out how, in 1968, the United Methodist Church did something so radical it was a statement for the ages.
The same year that America was falling apart, the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church became the United Methodist Church.
While America was fractured and ripped apart by a number of things (a polarizing president, U.S. stance with U.S.S.R. (Russia), liberals and conservatives, "law and order" and civil rights, etc...) the church stood in the middle of all that division and Unified.
Today we are in a time that feels just as divisive and polarizing in the USA. I wonder if my beloved UMC will look to her past and see how she bore witness to Christ in coming together while the "world fell apart." The courage of the 1968 Saints that created the UMC, those who decided to stand together in the face of pressure to divide, is the same courage I hope for in the 2017 Saints of the Church.
History (AKA - our children) has its eye on us.