(On this “day off” after Easter, I’m delighted to offer a guest devotional written by one of my favorite young theologians, Angela Harvey. She happens to be our daughter but she also holds degrees from all kinds of great places. She and her husband Steve live in England where he is a priest in the Anglican Church and they are happily raising three of the cutest children in all of that merry old kingdom, our grandkids. The other three live in Katy, by the way.)
“If we’re adding to the noise, turn off this song…” — Switchfoot, 2003
I hesitate to write this, as it’s one more noise you’ll encounter today. One more screen page, one more block of words, one more thought amidst the endless things our minds are caught up with now. The pandemic is truly an info-demic and most of us probably don’t need one more thing to read today.
Yet if you’re like me, you keep on reading the news and blogs like this, and day by day, looking for meaning online in this strange time. As much as we know that too much media and screen time isn’t good for our mental health or our souls, it’s hard to keep our fingers from switching on a screen to give us a glimpse of the world, to make us feel informed and connected somehow. And especially now we are needing those screens even more to connect us with our families and friends and churches and schools and workplaces.
It is all a bit much and hard to figure out, isn’t it? It’s not easy to see how to live well these days. When I recognize that I need something more spiritual than NPR or BBC, I find myself turning to read Christian leaders I trust, and then get caught up in yet another cycle of online things (albeit good things) to take in and process. Solomon was right that the making of many blogs is without end, and much scrolling wearies the soul (Ecclesiastes 12.21)!
We need each other and we’re finding each other online these days. But if you’re feeling a bit weary of all the screens, maybe it’s time to remember the One we have seen face-to-face, and with Whom we can always meet, without the need for any veil, or screen, or even social distancing, between us.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3 that when we, with unveiled faces, behold the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into His image. What a promise! In beholding Jesus we are made like Him. And only in seeing Jesus more can we start to see everything else around us right; only as we look more like Jesus can we find our true way in this world. What more might our aching world need now but more of Jesus, more of Jesus in us? Perhaps the best thing we can do to respond to the current crisis is to turn off our devices for a while and turn our eyes upon Jesus.
Let’s go in peace to love and serve the Lord… away from a screen and before the face of Jesus Himself.