“The time is fulfilled…” (Mark 1:15a)
I often joke that I’m a Luddite. The term refers to a secret society of—basically—domestic terrorists in 19th England who destroyed machinery in textile mills because they feared that the new weaving technology would put old-fashioned weavers such as themselves out of work. Today, it’s used for anyone who, alas, like my own dear self, is resistant to new technology[i].
Okay. I guess I’m not so much resistant to the technology as I am afraid I can’t figure out how to use it. I have to ask my daughter how I’m supposed to sinc devices or do stuff on the computer. There’ stuff a fifth-grader could do in his or her sleep that it takes me an hour to figure out. I mean, I’m still using a version of the flip phone because the raised numbers make it easier for me to text than if I use a smart screen. How do you turn off that word prediction thingamajig anyway?
But it’s not the lack of technology that has me concerned. It’s simply the age of these members. Good, loving, faithful, charitable saints of the Lord that they are, I can see a day coming when they will be worshiping before the Throne of Grace and not from the pews of Faith. The clock is ticking in my ear like Poe’s tell-tale heart. If the rest of us don’t start fishing for people now, there may be no congregation here in about ten years’ time. I see the internet as one fishnet by which we can proclaim the Kingdom. Social media allows us to spread the Word, and I’m hoping that by posting or re-posting or “sharing" or whatever you call it the online worship experiences of our congregation, we can spread a word of mercy and love to those who otherwise might never enter the doors of a church building to hear it.
[i] The Luddites took their name from Ned Ludd, supposedly an 18th century weaver and the first to smash machinery. Actually, Ludd never existed. He was a fictional character.
[ii] The word Mark uses here for “time” is Kairos (kairos in Greek). It doesn’t just mean the hour of the day, but implies a momentous occasion. It could translate “The season is upon us.”
[iii] I used to work as a tour guide at Universal Studios. Carl Lemmle, the studios founder, continued to produce silent movies well after talkies had been invented for his distributors in small towns who did not have the funds to convert their movie houses to the new sound technology. It’s important to push forward, but compassion dictates that we sometimes have to consider those who haven’t caught up!