Time capsules always seem to catch the imagination, mainly because no one has any idea what is in them. It could be anything. The items could be hundreds of years old. But, usually it is not the gold coins or stocks and bonds people are hoping for. Normally, it is a collage or collection of stuff that represents the every day function of society at that time. The idea is simple. By opening the time capsule, people will know what life was like at that time.
There are unlimited possibilities that would represent our society. We could include a gallon of gas which may make someone rich in the future. Or, a t-shirt that says “I waited 100 years to open a time capsule and all I got was this lousy shirt!” Or, a newspaper. Or, a video of Roy doing his Michael Jackson imitation. Or, an iPhone. Or, a note that says if time travel has been invented come back to Panama City in 2012 and give me the lottery numbers for any week in February. Or, an explanation of why we wore our pants on the ground. Or, why we loved William Hung from American Idol.
It makes me wonder what we would offer up for Northstar Church as our legacy in a time capsule. So hundreds of years from now, when our descendants remove that time capsule from the corner of Northstar Church, and open up that shiny, stainless-steel time vault, what will they find? To me, the time capsule would need only as many items as necessary to firmly establish one fundamental truth. Those item(s) would be something that would enable those opening the time capsule to truly see how we believed with all our heart that Jesus Christ is the good news and the salvation for the entire world, and the answer to real problems. After perusing the items, the person who opened the time capsule would say, not only is it a testament to the past history of Northstar Church given by the faithfulness of God, but it is also a living example of Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
If Christ truly is good news for the world, then our commitment to Him must be more than a legacy, or a church building. Several hundred years from now it won’t matter how many people attended Northstar, or how large our offerings were, or how many satellites we started. What will matter is those we have led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, how we worshiped God and served a hurting world, and how we discipled people and sent workers into the field.
Our legacy should be how through our talents, energy and contributions, we left the church a little different, a little stronger, a little better than the first day we walked through the doors. That is what will stand the test of time.