There was a time when preachers railed against “motion pictures” and placed them right up there with the evils of dancing. Then television came along and it was thought TV would be the death of the movies and church life. I still remember the sermon calling on “true Christians” to forsake the Sunday night “Ed Sullivan Show” and return to church, especially if the Beatles were going to be on the show. Then it became alright to go to movies and even show them in church if it was a Billy Graham movie. So we baptized movies. TV evangelists sprouted like dandelions. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the overhead projector and a television set hooked-up to a VCR became a centerpiece of many church sanctuaries. As in all such advances in church life, there was probably a youth leader to blame somewhere. So we baptized television.
High-definition television came along, and the cheap ones only cost around $5,000. Then we had to buy converter boxes because HDTV was here and would not play with your TV unless you converted it. (I am still trying to work out the theological implications of that.) The internet was already making life so much easier for everyone so churches baptized computers. But then they “crash” or get sick with viruses and worms, so we buy more powerful computers at half the cost of the last one. Now our churches are remodeling to have computer-projected movies and TV clips, church commercials and skits, Bible verses and songs, live streaming and video conferences as part of worship. A Proclaimer preaching on the big screen in multiple parts of town or the state is easier for some than an actual preacher preaching in the room with the actual people who came to church that day.
With the advent of each new technology, the church, always reluctantly at first, baptizes it into the faith. How long did it take to get the overhead projector out of the bowling alley and into church? Now we are dealing with “smart phones,” which is just a quicker way to pass notes during church, read your mail, look up something that was just said by the pastor or make lunch reservations all from the comfort of your pew.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Baptize your technology.* And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
*Baptizing technology is to be practiced openly and honestly. Do not use water.
Of all the seasonal jobs a person can take, being a street corner Statue of Liberty has to be taxing. The job starts on January 2nd and continues through the end of April. Your assignment is to wear the Lady Liberty costume, wave at people and hold a sign while standing on the corner or curb near the franchised tax service.* The men and women I’ve seen this year have been heavily bundled under the costume. They are required to smile and keep moving for their entire shift. They are encouraged to listen to fun and happy music the whole time. The weather has not been kind, nor have some people.
This is a taxing time. No one wants more taxes but we certainly wanted our streets cleared faster and better, so our taxes paid more contractors to remove the snow. Now those same contractors cannot fill the pot holes fast enough for us. We want our police to protect us, our soldiers to defend us and our water safe and clean. We want the fire department at our house within 3 minutes of our call. The April 15 Tax Due Date has been changed this year to April 18, so some of us will have an extra three days before filing for an extension.
Right now, during our great thaw, the costumed men and women are dancing and waving in the yuck-and-muck of snowplowed ice and soggy grass. Some drivers seem to go out of their way to swerve their vehicles into the icy puddles just to soak the cheerful laborers. Everyone that I have seen purposefully sprayed or splashed continues to dance and smile. I guess they know that encountering rude and coarse people is part of the job. You have to admire their spirit. It must be taxing.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Smile and wave. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
*I have never dealt with the tax company and this is not an endorsement.
There are two kinds of people: the kind who believe there are two kinds of people, and those of us who don’t. While calling around, reading Facebook comments and listening to the local news channels, I got the impression that there were two different kinds of people experiencing this official blizzard and its aftermath: the kind who like to hibernate, and the kind who don’t hibernate well at all because they are trapped and cannot get out to do what they want to do so they drive the hibernators crazy. Speaking of crazy, then there are the kind of people who go joyriding in 14 inches of snow and -6 degree weather in their trucks and four-wheelers just to see how far from help they can get when they get stuck.
At least with this storm we had enough warning to descend on the grocery stores like locust in a wheat field, leaving desolation and empty shelves everywhere. When I got to the grocery store on Monday night before the storm (after having to park in the shopping center next door), I found there were no eggs, and the milk selection was down to three quarts of the dreaded skim milk and those other “milks” like almond, rice and lactose-free. At least, the newscasters pointed out, the Super Bowl was coming and the liquor stores were well stocked. Good luck trying to find hamburger meat or gas for the car by Thursday. Friday’s dusting of snow turned into four more inches. Anticipating another round of 5 to 10 inches this week, some children may have forgotten their teachers’ names by now.
But there are also other kinds of people. Like the neighbors and church members who shoveled driveways (sometimes twice), who checked on people who were already housebound because of sickness or infirmities, or who picked up extra groceries or medicines for others because they were “going out anyway.” What kind of person have you been through these last few days?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Be a blessing for someone else. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.