Pastor’s Friday Comments (03.01.19)

A few years ago, for reasons that I cannot remember and with no particular purpose in mind, I brought home a vintage (read old) Royal manual typewriter that had belonged to my dad. For those of you who don’t know what a typewriter is, see the picture.

I must have felt some sentimental attachment to this relic. It reminded me of the manual machine I learned to type on (with two fingers) when I was an editor for our high school newspaper. The other day, just for kicks, I tried typing on it. I had forgotten how hard you had to press the keys and that you had to move the carriage (look it up) after each line. It turns out, I was able to order a new ribbon (again, look it up). Who would have thought you could still get those?

Anyway, like all good preachers, I found a metaphor in that blast from the past. Despite its antiquated mechanics, relative difficulty to operate, limited (one) font, and excessive weight, with effort I could present thoughts on paper that carried the same meaning and expressed the same sentiments as I could produce on my lightning fast, four pound laptop. The technology has improved dramatically, but the ability to express thoughts comes from something entirely separate from the mode of transmission.

You hear a lot today about how technology has changed our lives, often for the better. Being directionally challenged, GPS is at the top of my praise list. But there are some things on which technology cannot improve, no matter how much easier it makes it to produce something.

In the Church there is a lot of pride today about the ability to produce professional quality performances as part of (instead of?) worship; to communicate with both members and the general public in real-time, always available publications; and to provide avenues of two-way communication that allow congregations to keep up with the needs of their members. All of which are fine, but have only a secondary connection with the gospel.

We aren’t inventing anything new. The message we have to proclaim is the same, though in the cacophony of constant message bombardment, it may be harder to hear. Perhaps more importantly, the acts we are called to perform in our Savior’s name can seldom be done through technology, but only through personal relationships.

 

I’m not going back to using a typewriter. And I’m glad for all the technological advances that make the spread of the Gospel easier, but they don’t make it any better. The good news of Jesus Christ as the clear demonstration of God’s love for the world is already as good as it gets.

 

There are people smarter than most of us who are helping us to live better lives through technology. You could even say that is their calling. Our calling is to spread the love of Jesus Christ. It has never been done more effectively than it was by Jesus himself, and he didn’t have a pencil, much less a computer.

 

Keep spreading the Word; keep sharing the faith; keep showing the love. How you do it might change, but the important question is, are you doing it?