Monday, February 15, 2010

A 21st Century Jesus

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103

I am new to this blogging world. I have been a quiet observer for about four months, and I love the encouraging messages that different bloggers share. It seems that often times my heart hears just what it needs to. The power of seeing Jesus move through the text on a computer screen gives me chills at times. Occasionally I wonder what Jesus' ministry would have looked like in a modern setting. Had he walked the Earth today would he send mass text messages and be followed on YouTube? Perhaps, He would have a Blog sharing parables where people could connect to His message. I cannot help but smile when I think about a 21st century tech savvy Jesus. Do I believe He could have done it? Definitely. But I do think that there is something beautiful about the ministry He had when He walked the Earth. He had something I think we miss out on at times in the age of technology.

Jesus' ministry was filled with relationship. People followed Him. Not on Twitter, or Facebook. They walked along side Him. Engaged in conversation that was life changing. He spent time in different people's homes. He traveled and shared in life changing conversations with people that He loved. Jesus healed, inspired faith, mentored, rebuked the enemy and challenged the Pharisee's in a very personal way. Through conversation. Am I arguing that the blog world is an impersonal place? In some ways it is. But I will say that the 21st century is at times devoid of relationship because of the constant connection we each have to those we are already engaged in friendship with. We have become comfortable not reaching out to new people we meet. I joke that I have more of a relationship with my cell phone and lap top at times than with my friends and family.

A couple months ago, I was sitting in a sermon that talked about what would happen if we treated the Word of God like a cell phone. I laughed at first but the reality is my cell phone is a very important part of my life. It connects me to the world. Through it I communicate with friends and family. It is in some ways essential and ironically I feel like something is missing without it by my side. In the sermon we were challenged to think about how we treated the technology in our life and apply that to how we treat our Bible. Whoa! Here are some ways I treat my cell phone:
-If I leave it at home I will turn around and get it.
-I check it multiple times a day.
-I sleep with it next to my bed.
-It is the last thing I look at when I go to sleep and the first thing I look at in the morning.
-I use it to prioritize and organize my life.
-I use it to connect with people.
-At times it draws me away from the world around me.

These are just a few of the ways that a cell phone plays into my life. Okay, so now apply that list to my Bible. (This was a convicting sermon). Do I turn around and go back to my house to get my bible because I cannot be without it for even 10 minutes? Do I check my bible multiple times a day? Do I sleep with it next to my bed? Is it the last thing I look at in the evening and the first thing I look at in the morning? Do I use my Bible to prioritize and organize my life? Do I seek the Word to connect with people? Do I let my Bible draw me away from the world around me?

I wish I could say that my Bible was as much of a priority as my cell phone is most days. I can't help but ask myself what my relationship with God would be like if I treated my Bible like my cell phone. I know that this sermon convicted me with some of the 21st century priorities that did not plague people even 15 years ago. However, I still feel that in some ways the age of technology has some benefits. I love reading people's blogs and connecting with people half way across the country. I like the reality that a friend can always get a hold of me if they need me. But I do not want technology to become something that overshadows my relationship with my King.

Since I heard that sermon the way I view my Bible has changed. I now look at it as the main way to connect with Jesus. My idea of the Bible has really been stretched. Honestly, I cannot go anywhere without it. When I do not have it I miss it. I believe if I did forget it I would turn around in my car to get it. While I still am working on looking to it to enhance my relationships and every day decisions, I am glad that God has grown my heart.

So the question is, how do you view your Bible? Is it a necessity in your life? Is it something that you cannot stand to leave behind? Is it as important as your cell phone, Blackberry, or computer? How does the way you view your bible effect your relationship with the Prince of Peace?

I pray that I can continue to connect with you. I desire to pursue you more then I do some of the blogs, websites and technological devices in my life. I want to treat you like I often treat my cell phone. I desire to value your word and relationship more then anything else. May you become my main priority and passion. In Jesus name I pray- Amen