Seeing 20/20 in 2020 |DR. R. CLIFFORD JONES
Happy New Year! The start of a year provides opportunity for reflection and projection. It’s a time to look back before looking forward with hope and purpose. Each New Year dawns with possibility and potential, evoking in us not only memories of the past but resolutions for growth and progress in the year ahead.
2020 will be a significant year. It will be a census year in this country, and Americans will be voting for a president and other federal and state officials in November 2020. In the middle of the year, Seventh-day Adventists are going to convene a General Conference Session in Indianapolis, Indiana, to conduct the business of the church, including the election of leaders for the world church.
The number 2020 has other meaning. Most people know that 20/20 vision is normal visual acuity and that you do not need glasses if you have 20/20 vision. We have been told that hindsight is 20/20 vision. 2020 connotes compassion and a commitment to serve others, especially the “least of these” (Matt. 25:45).
The Lake Region Conference has declared 2020 to be the Year of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty with the theme, “Everyone Counts, Everyone Matters.” The focus fundamentally underscores that everyone is valued and treasured by God. Each life is of infinite worth to God and should be respected, affirmed, and cherished by fellow human beings.
While on earth, Jesus often engaged people individually, like the Samaritan woman He encountered at Jacob’s Well. This woman had several strikes against her, including her culture, gender, and marital status. Yet Jesus engaged her in conversation and set her free from a life of despair and disrespect (John 4:1-42). Jesus affirmed children and, even as He hung on the cross, suspended dying to offer salvation to a common, notorious criminal (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 23:40-43). The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Sons powerfully illustrate that “Everyone Counts, Everyone Matters” (Luke 15:1:32).
Seeing 20/20 in 2020 is a call for us to see as Jesus sees and a challenge for us to act as Jesus acted while He was on earth. It is a cry for all church members, from the youngest to the oldest, to be engaged in mission and ministry that brings transformation and growth to individuals and communities. It is a reminder that each voice must be heard and that each member of the body is vital and necessary.
Because “Everyone Counts, Everyone Matters, seeing 20/20 in 2020 is not an option for Seventh-day Adventist Christians in the Lake Region Conference. To do less will be a dereliction of our responsibility and a disservice to our calling. It will show that we may be suffering from myopia or have cataracts that are discounting or distorting our vision.
Christ would have died for one sinner. He died for one lost planet—earth! Truly, our Savior had 20/20 vision. Let us see as God sees. Let us see 20/20 in 2020.
In the end, to see 20/20 is not only to see as Jesus sees, but to see Jesus Himself. Thus, may our resolutions for 2020 include, “We would see Jesus” (John 12:21).
Have a happy and healthy 2020!
R. Clifford Jones