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Technology, Fatigue, and Hope

Trent Williams, Associate Pastor

I’ve always been a technology buff. I love gadgets, computers, and keeping up with the latest advancements. I’ve spent more time than I’d care to admit at the Apple store, and some of you know that when I was a child, I wanted to be a movie director. I even made a little documentary family history in high school. So in some ways, I’m in my element these days.

But I’ll confess, even for a tech lover like me, I’m tired of virtual church. I miss seeing people in person. I miss the hugs and handshakes, the casual and the deeper moments of connection, the dynamic between congregation and preacher that only comes in a live space. I miss getting to serve you communion and look in your eyes. As these days of physical distancing have worn on, I’ve grown weary of another Zoom call, another week of editing worship, and more time without those personal moments of connection.

But it’s in those moments when I’m most weary that I remember once again the words of Paul the apostle. Writing from prison, separated physically from the Christian communities, he wrote in Philippians 1: “I thank my God every time I remember you,  constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,  because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart.” Throughout his ministry, Paul was often separated from his communities. Yet, he maintained faith and hope and connection. If Paul could do it in a letter, carried by hand over hundreds and thousands of miles, then perhaps a Zoom call isn’t so bad. Even though we long to be together again, we know that God is with us and is binding us together in spirit.

So with hope and with faith, I offer this prayer on our technology, our people, and all of us as we face the days ahead. And to parents, teachers, and students, know that you are especially being held in my prayers right now.

God, bless the cameras and the iPhones.

Bless the computer screens and the software.

Bless the wifi and the broadband, and all those that work to keep us connected.

Bless the creative, thoughtful ways that we have envisioned and have yet to envision

to stay bound together as your people.

God, bless the teachers and the students and the parents who are preparing for school.

Bless those making tough decisions, and those that don’t know how they’re going to make it all work.

Bless all of us, that we might support each other.

Keep all of us safe, and healthy, and secure.

Bring us back together again, soon.

Thank you for leading us, for guiding us, for surrounding us.

Amen.

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