Jun 26, 2010

Blessed bytes…

A number of years ago, I visited a church in Colorado. The music and preaching were good and I was glad that I attended. But the strangest thing happened during the sermon. The pastor preached his sermon using a Blackberry. I had never seen that before and found it to be quite intriguing. Each time he read from scripture, he read from this electronic device. No one in the congregation seemed to think anything of it, but I honestly wondered how that would go over in my church.


Now I don’t have a Blackberry, but I do have the next best thing… an Amazon Kindle. As you can well imagine, I read hundreds of books per year. And in the past, each book I read (or am going to read) ends up on bookshelves in my home. What was frustrating about our last move to Vail was that almost every other box said “books”. I am convinced that we moved a ton of books. (The other boxes said “Junk” – but that is another topic for another day.) During that move, I vowed that if ever I moved again, I would never take books with me. I vowed to go digital.


It was about two years ago when I made the plunge and purchased an Amazon Kindle. When I tell people that I am entirely digital, the first thing they say is, “Oh, I could never go digital. I like the smell of books.” Well, that may be true, but when my eyes get tired, I can switch to a larger font. I betcha you can’t do that on your paperback! Give it up. Trust me, in ten years we will all be digital. It’s better to get used to it now while your mind is still malleable.


But I am still not sure if I am brave enough to use my Kindle in a worship service. Being a green-type-of-guy, I wouldn’t mind following the worship service on a Kindle. But what if the battery died? Also, what would people think about the Pastor using that newfangled technology in church? It was only a few years ago that Jennifer and I were joking that someday in the near future, people wouldn’t need hymnals anymore. But we were kidding. Weren’t we?


Well, I guess I need to think again. An Italian Roman Catholic Priest, Paolo Padrini has developed an iPad application called “iBreviary”. With this innovation, priests can now celebrate mass with an iPad, instead of the usual Roman missal, on the altar. The free application is set to launch in a variety of languages, including English, by July. Aha! If the Catholics can go digital…


Of course, I knew this all along. Because God doesn’t really care whether we read His scriptures from a hardback, paperback, Braille, or digital Bible. What He does care about is that we read it. And Jesus’ message of forgiveness is just as powerful in the electronic age.



Pastor David Hook



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