Information is No Longer Power
In honoring the first Episcopal Bishop of North America, Samuel Seabury, the Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess said in her November 16th sermon that when Bishop Seabury returned to America from Scotland it was a new church, a new place, and a new era.
She continued, “We live in a new era now, too. For the first time in hundreds of years, information is no longer our social currency; it has been replaced by relationships.”
Starting in the 1650’s the Age of Enlightenment ushered in a new way of thinking with reason, analysis, and individualism replacing authority, including the authority of the Catholic Church. By 1687, a publication by Sir Isaac Newton heralded in a parallel Scientific Revolution where information was king. In the 1990’s, we’ve seen the coming of the Information Revolution with the digital age.
Kristine made a compelling case that after almost 400 years, we have peaked in our quest for knowledge. Almost everyone has unlimited information at their fingertips through smartphones and tablet computers. It isn’t necessary to try to remember a fact for more than a few seconds, or someone in the group will “google it” and provide the answer.
But if everyone has the same level of information, it has lost its power. Power exists when there is an imbalance between individuals for economic, social or emotional reasons. Information is no longer a dividing line between the haves and the have nots when everyone has equal access to it.
Kristine then took us back to the beginning of time. In the Garden of Eden, God didn’t invite us to have more knowledge about Him, instead, he invited us to be in a relationship with Him. Throughout Scripture we see that God sent his son to us, so that we could relate with Him in a human form. We often see Jesus preaching and teaching, but we also see Him mentoring his disciples and showing them how to live with love. We see Jesus having compassion on the crowds to feed them, cast out demons, and heal them from their afflictions. These actions are all about relationships, not knowledge.
When we love someone, we don’t spew facts at them, instead we hold them close in an intimate relationship. God doesn’t want us to know of Him, He wants us to know Him and feel His loving embrace.
The social currency today is no longer information, it’s our relationship with God and others. If we can succeed at loving relationships, we will be rich beyond all measure.
I pray that all your relationships are holy and flow from your first love.