Sunday, May 24, 2009

Homily for Ascension Day

Go out to the whole world - proclaim the Good News!

(First Draft - to be updated)

As I think a lot of you know, I am a great fan of technology. It’s not just the gadgets I like, but its what they can do. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I walk the dog. I don’t buy a newspaper, but I read the news on my phone or my computer. !’m on facebook, my space, friendfeed, plurk, ping and meebo (or is it beebo?) I use email rather than postage stamps. I tap appointments onto the screen which I carry in my pocket. I’ve made podcasts. I put together websites. I write a blog. I use twitter. (In fact on twitter I have the second most followers of any clergyman of any form of Christianity in the whole of England!)

Does this make me a better person? Not really.
Does all my technology make me efficient and reliable? Oops, not necessarily.
So is it just a hobby and all a waste of time?

Well, of course not.

It’s not that everybody has to use email or surf the web, any more, I suppose, than everyone ought to drive a car or have a telephone. And its not that all these gadgets and gizmos will be here for years to come. Some may last, others will fade away like the quill, the comptometer, the abacus, the telegram and the K-tel Egg Slicer, and live only in the corridors of museums.

The point of course is not the gadgets, the technology, however interesting or annoying they may or may not be. What is important is what we do with them.

These are all ways of communication. (And today is a day of prayer for the Church's work in the social media). And just as the first Christians used the methods of their own day - standing at the street corners and in the market places, speaking before Kings and rulers, sending letters along the roads of the Roman Empire, travelling by horse by mule by foot - so in our own way we do the same today, by email, by website, by video and by audio, by blog and by twitter, because we are called to spread the word, to teach the faith, to proclaim the Gospel.

It is a divine command, and whatever the means, the methods or the technology we are sent to do it: proclaim the Good News!

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