When glitter catches the eye, but purpose tugs at the heart – The Dubai World Expo

Have you been following the current World Expo happening in Dubai? It is like never before, 192 countries, celebrating every culture, food, fashion, music, dance, and then the technology, intellectual property and innovations. More than 200 restaurants with over 50 cuisines, even a flying piano. You name it, the Expo has it. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to experience countries of the world without actually travelling around the world. Though it wouldn’t be the same as the best thing.

The shopping, food and entertainment though incredible made me think there should be more to this and so read up more on world fairs. Only to find this is no ordinary exhibition or fair, this is the world expo. It was in the world expo that the first live TV broadcast was made at New York in 1939. Ultra HDTV – debuted at Expo 2005 Aichi in Japan. One of the most iconic, renowned landmarks, The Eiffel Tower, emerged from the World Fair and served as the entry point to the 1889 World Expo held in Paris.

The festivities have seen Royalty, Prime ministers, Heads of state, investors, influencers innovators, chefs, artists, singers, sports personalities, designers, engineers, architects, front line professionals and the AI-driven guardian robot Opti. But my eye caught the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also known as the Global Goals that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. (For the full list: www.globalgoals.org ) All of the goals are worthy, a noble endeavour, to end, ensure, achieve and promote peace and prosperity.

What is our ultimate purpose behind these goals? This congregation of people, of talks, presentations, jubilation and festivities, why do we do it? To achieve what? What draws us to do this? (not ruling out the obvious) In the words of Po, is it inner peace?

This brings me to the Dubai Expo’s theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. As social beings we are created this way, but not for self-preservation, self-exaltation or for another expo, not even for one city, state or country but as a humanity, we long for fellowship. We understand that working together, majlis draws us closer bringing in true unity in our diversity.

In We Need Each Other – Christian Fellowship as a Means of Perseverance, John Piper says“so when I talk about Christian fellowship as a means of perseverance, the fellowship I have in mind is the mutual bond (and I think mutual would be the adjective form of koinonía in English) that Christians have with Christ that unites us in a profound and eternal relationship of love that should express itself in joyful and affectionate service to for each other’s good.”

Right from the beginning in Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Creating us for each other, not just man-woman and marriage but for one another. This fellowship comes through Christ alone to serve and be selfless and do good. To express ourselves in joyful and affectionate service for each other’s good comes only through Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 20:28 Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This is the fellowship God has created us for: to serve and not to be served.

If only as a community we aim at living for others putting others first and partner for these goals through Christ, we can achieve these 17 goals and more. At the same time we cannot serve without being drained and sapped ultimately because we are human and our longings and needs of fellowship and community can only be fulfilled in the perfection of seeking God.

Now even as the Dubai expo comes to an end after six months, let us remember this is how God created us, for companionship and fellowship. Especially these past few years I have come to wholeheartedly believe living in unity is essential to man and that man was not created to live alone in solitude. We are created for fellowship, to worship, to trust, and to hope in Jesus Christ our Lord who alone is mighty to save. If only we will realise that He alone is worthy of all our worship, glory and honour, 2030 or any number of world expos wouldn’t really matter. Not undermining the planning or the process, but trying to shout out WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!

Today I challenge you to do the following

1. Compliment at least one person daily

2. Do something for the environment intentionally

3. Call or go meet a friend or a family

4. Seek God with all your heart


Author: Sarah Jayakar

Sarah Jayakar is currently working as Data manager and Administrator for Life Focus Society. She is passionate about the gospel and has a heart for the next generation. Crazy about sports, music, cooking, gardening and reading, and not necessarily in that order.

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