Advent 2014 – Devotion 16

The Microsoft band will tell you your heart rate, the number of steps you’ve taken, calories burned, and sleep quality. It will keep a run summary and count your calories. It has a clock, a timer and an alarm. It has GPS mapping and a UV monitor. You can also see incoming calls to your phone, get notifications from Twitter and Facebook, see voicemails and texts. You can see your latest emails and calendar. All from a little band that goes around the wrist like a bracelet or a watch.

Our son-in-law works at a Microsoft Store and that’s how I even know that the band exists. What a cool gadget. It sounds amazing.

There is lots of wonderful technology in the world. And there are more incredible gadgets than I could ever have imagined even as a young person. And what computers can do is astounding. I can wear a small band on my wrist that gives me so much information. And on my phone I have access to the entire internet. So much information!

But what do we really know? What does all of this tell us? I want a gadget that takes in certain bits of information and then spits out a long term final plan for a stable, just peace in the Middle East, especially between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I want a gizmo that monitors everyone’s racism. I want a band that tracks everyone’s carbon footprint with a mapping program that shows everyone the progression of the melting glaciers and ice caps and the rising sea level. How about an alarm that rings every time a child in this country goes to bed hungry? Oh, the good we could do with such instantaneous monitoring and tracking! But I don’t think a device with these kinds of capabilities would make it to the Top Ten Most Wanted Christmas Gifts List.

We already have the information that we need to achieve permanent peace, to eliminate racism, to reverse global climate change, and to end hunger. We know all that we need to know to achieve these ends. We have all the facts and figures necessary. What we need is the will. And there is no band or gizmo that will give us the will for these things. For a change of heart, a committed spirit, an transformed will, we can look to Jesus. He changes lives. He works on you until you are softened and pliable and then he reshapes you. I suspect that one of the reasons people don’t take Jesus more seriously, or seriously distort his teachings, is because they don’t like the change of heart that he inspires. And yet, Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the world. That fact, that gauge, that monitor may be grounds for hope.

For reflection: Think about how you have changed your outlook in some way. What led to that change? Was it information?

Prayer: We have so much information at our disposal. We know so much. We have access to so many ideas. What an incredible and amazing time to be alive! May we trust in Jesus to show us how to process this information and use it for the good of the world. Amen.

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