I’m going to tell you all about my third day of Christmas trauma, but first let’s talk about the spiritual side of the third day. It’s all about perspective (smile).
We move from martyr (Stephen) to gospel writer, John the Evangelist this third day of Christmas. History, tradition, and the gospel of John all suggest that John died of natural causes in old age. It is believed he was the only original apostle who made it to old age and who did not die a martyr’s death. We know almost nothing about John the man, but we know quite a bit more about what he proclaimed of Jesus.
John’s gospel is the most Christological, the branch of Christian theology relating to the person, nature, and role of Christ. I find it helpful to read other reliable translations when delving into passages. A contemporary translation I like is The Voice. Often the editors include some background information to help bridge the 21 century historical-cultural context chasm. The Voice has an excellent commentary on the first chapter of John that’s worth checking out.
Now for my third day of Christmas trauma. Actually, this experience occurred on the second day, but seeing as I had already posted that blog, it became fodder for today.
After thorough research and vetting, Saint Sam decided it was time to move our cellphone and data service to another carrier. That meant I needed to back up my iPhone, which I have not done in at least six months. Since I was going to be doing that little bit of tech housekeeping, I thought it would also be an excellent time to get rid of the few apps I don’t use and, for philosophical reasons have decided to permanently delete.
How hard can that be?
The app I thought would be the most difficult to delete turned out to be easier than the app I thought wouldn’t be difficult at all. Actually deactivating each account was not difficult. Requesting to have my data deleted was a nightmare. Customer service in the before-technology era was unpleasant, but some customer service in the technology era is virtually not existent. It should not take a web developer (Saint Sam) and me forty-five minutes scouring a website to access a support ticket! Even though Sam had completed the same request a couple of days ago, he did not have the same trouble then that I had today. I wanted to scream.
I have been contemplating my stance on social media use for a couple of years. There are pros and cons to all things this side of eternity, including technology and social media. I find that social media does not encourage or enhance deepening relationships or personal connections. It is a great tool for “looking in” on people or speaking to people, not with people. It’s also a great broadcasting tool, much like the old-media tools of newsletters, flyers, and advertisements.
There is always room for our faith and message to expand. Certainly God saw the need to reach humanity in a new, fresh, surprising way in the Person of Jesus! New audiences were reached when Jesus was born and Jesus was the master in turning questions into conversations and building relationships during the normal course of life: around the dinner table, walking the dusty roads, and the local well.
I will not be giving up technology anytime soon. How can we use technology to expand our circles and deepen our connections?