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As I write this we are snowed in for the second time since the week before Christmas. As you know, I am not very good on my feet at the best of times and it’s definitely not worth the risk on ice and snow. However, it is very frustrating not being able to go out at all!
Happily we have the help of a few wonderful friends from church and from the community without whose help we could not survive (I won’t mention names, you know who you are), and they have our thanks and love.
I have been able to do some work even though I could not actually be there. I can link the laptop I am writing this on with the server at Holywell Lodge via a wireless connection, and access all my files on my desk computer and have, therefore, been able to work on the year end calculations for the bookshop, and the electronic stock-take sitting in my own armchair. Likewise, when I have finished this letter, I will e mail it to Ian, and he will receive it in seconds, saving either of us the trouble of leaving the house!
This got me to thinking about modern technology and what a difference it makes to our lives. Imagine yourselves back in the first century trying to spread the gospel, writing one of the Epistles. It must have taken weeks for some of them to arrive, by which time the situation may have changed completely. It is interesting to wonder how quickly the word would have spread, had modern communications been available to Jesus immediately after his death, and glorious resurrection.
Would it have been a good thing? Perhaps not, in the light of the attitude to religion of people today in the western world, particularly in Europe. We have all these modern communication devices, and yet we seem to have, to a great extent, rejected religion apart from a small minority of us. In Africa and Asia, most people profess to a religious belief of some sort, here we do not (the ‘we’ I refer to, of course, is society, not us personally).
It will be interesting to see, as the third world develops, as it seems to be doing more and more quickly, if their attachment to their religion dwindles in direct relation to their development, as seems to have happened in the west.
You will probably be thinking, ‘What about the United States?’ Well yes, Christianity does seem to be alive and well there, but much of it weird and outlandish! Creationism is rife, there are dreadful Television evangelists and what are we to make of a so-called Christian society that is allowed to bear arms, often uses them still practices judicial murder in many states and handcuffs pregnant women prisoners to the bed under guard while they are giving birth?
So what, in this increasingly secular world, should we be trying to communicate to our friends and acquaintances at this time? Well, believe it or not, Lent and Easter are nearly upon us, again very early this year. Ash Wednesday is on 17th February and Easter Day is the 4th April, so let us try and get the message of Easter to everyone we know, that the tiny child, whose birth we have just celebrated, grew to be the greatest man ever to dwell on this earth, that he was God’s Son, and that he died for us all, that our sins might be forgiven, and that he rose again and sits in glory at his Father’s side in heaven, where we will join him, if we only believe those few words.
The beautiful stories in the Bible may, or may not, all be literally true, but if you can believe the few words I have written above, and tell others about it, then you will have done your duty to your maker.