It’s been a week of struggling with technology, sometimes the fault of that technology but also the user interaction with it. Having spent a large part of my working life with computers and systems to support number crunching and reporting of a financial nature, I’m a little more comfortable using “tech”. The pace of change, however, is such that even where the programs remain the same they now have far greater capabilities than when I was using them in days gone by. In the same way, there are now programs available for free or little cost which would have only been available previously for those companies with large budgets to spend on Information Technology. In many ways that’s a blessing, but equally it’s confusing in terms of knowing which to choose.
The same can be said for mobile smartphones – sometimes too clever for their own good – as they deliver more and more functionality, most of which has nothing whatsoever to do with making phone calls. WhatsApp has proved very useful in keeping in touch with people across the parish, but I’d also like to draw your attention to another app which is a daily devotional app – Lectio365. It brings together passages of scripture and reflections but you just listen and engage. There is a P.R.A.Y. acronym – Pause – Reflect – Ask – Yield. It’s put together very well and I know of others who use it.
Is there any connection, therefore, between technology and our faith? For starters we’ve come to realise during lockdown that technology is a means of keeping in touch but also allows us to communicate in a different way to people who wouldn’t normally be able or want to attend a gathering in a building. To achieve that, however, some have had to learn new skills and become involved in areas they never envisaged being in. Our understanding of our faith has equally been challenged to realise that God can communicate in ways other than accepted church norms. In my first paragraph I referred to the pace of change and things being different with technology compared to when I was at work – I needed to get up to date. Likewise with our faith. I f we don’t maintain a life of ongoing study and prayer we’ll not develop the full potential for which God has given us the gifts. Whilst it’s easy to stick to tried and tested methods, let’s not be afraid to embrace alternative ways. After all, Jesus did come and turn the world upside down and left the Holy Spirit to stir things up as well.
With blessings to all
Rev Merv Dye