Another Palm Sunday, and with Easter coming in mid-April, a time for Confirmation : a joy-filled, yet challenging time for a sermon – and as promised to this year’s class of ten, a SHORT sermon.
It could be as short as the sermon’s title: “New Apps for Your IPod/Pad” with the most essential App being a symbol for Paul’s plea to his favorite church, Philippians 2:5:
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
The App showing a clip art form of a human brain with a cross imposed upon it, a design we might add to our crazy, wonderful “Anti-Workbook,” as today’s assignment.
One of other Apps to open, because this site leads to many more…all opening to what we need to have the mind of Christ in us:
- The Bible He had in his day, the word He called “bread;
- The “Our Father…” prayer Jesus gave His followers to pray;
- The ten rules for living He taught and fulfilled with His actions;
- The Apostles’ Creed – not written by the first disciples and Paul, but gathering together all they confessed and used like a touchstone to open up the larger thoughts behind each word;
- Contacts with Christians through the centuries and Christians all over the world, some living as present day martyrs; many coming to us through web pages and YouTube.
This may all sound rather boring, until we let each site be like a play that puts us on stage or behind the scenes putting up all the props, or like a game that has us running up and down the court or field, like the Bible Apps that draw us into the scenes and we say as did one reader, “I find myself on every page.”
For each of you who have been born in the internet age and come to my rescue when trying to get our DVD to open each Sunday in Confirmation Class, there is the possibility of giving a 21st century spin to the Confirmation vow that has you pledging to “do the work and word of Jesus as best you are able.”
A European project has people selecting 3,000 themes in the Bible and turn each one into a Twitter entry of 140 characters. Might you take up the challenge – first to search the Bible for the themes and then tweet them in the allotted spaces? It’s a ministry to involve the world in asking the Palm Sunday question: “Who is he?” and – in pursuing the answer, begin to learn how to think like Christ, how “to have the mind of Christ.”
There is a very personal reason to add the App marked with a brain and cross that will open up to more Apps all designed to help you think like Jesus so you can live like Jesus. Even I who come late to the world of laptops and IPod and pad, have this reason reinforced every day as I enter the computer world you know so well to read the Bible, a daily devotional, and sites that give me the background material to prepare a sermon.
The recurring and most annoying problem is that there are pop ups- several open up to literature and videos posted to drag us down into a cesspool of thoughts and associations meant to divert us from sites that serve to nurture the mind of Christ in us! It’s those enticements that are intent on pulling you away from your vows, that challenge you to delete them and choose to open the App created with a clip art-like drawing of the human brain and a superimposed cross for you to remember is also on you:
The sign of the cross marked on your forehead when you were baptized and again when you began this Confirmation year at the font and now as you kneel to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Another silent reminder is the fingerprint you make on the screen. It reveals the Apps where you spend your time, what is most important to you; the Apps that define you.
This is the day to pray that your print will be on the one that opens to all the sites you will use as you commit to having the same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus, a vow sealed with the mark of the cross.