Technology Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
As we enter into another week of social distancing and adjusting to a new normal, I wanted to write to you all and share some personal reflections.
With isolation measures firmly in place, we all are trying new ways to connect with one another and maintain a sense of consistency with those we are close to. Maybe you’re using zoom calls for the first time like I am… or trying to manage the extra time you have from stopping your normal commute. How does family time look now? How do I lead myself or my children to consider what this forced quarantine means for us?
As a church operating without our normal Sunday “gathering”, certain verses from the New Testament have come to mind as I consider what this shift means for the church and our relationships with one another.
- 2 Timothy 1:4 - “As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.”
- Romans 1:11 - “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.”
- 1 Thessalonians 2:17 - “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face.”
- 1 Thessalonians 3:6 - “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you.”
- 3 John 14 - “I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.”
- Colossians 2:1 - “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face.”
- Philippians 1:8 - “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
What theme do these verses capture? Probably several, but at least one thing is clear. We aren’t unique in what we’re experiencing. We aren’t the only ones to experience a sense of social distance from one another. When the Apostle Paul was on a journey or in prison, he navigated the absence of face-to-face relationships with the technology available to him. In fact, Paul’s isolation from other Christians, coupled with a desire to encourage them through the written word, created the very Bible we hold in our hands.
But as each day of quarantine passes, Paul’s longing to see those he ministered to is something that I’m seeing in a new light. These longings jump off the page in new ways and Paul’s words reveal something essential to our Christian life. We need the face-to-face, the encouragement, the exhortation and the communion of the saints. Both to encourage, and to be encouraged. To hear and be heard. To see you, and for you to see me.
So what do we do in these times where all we have is desire and an unfulfilled longing? Together, let’s allow this longing to drive us to give thanks for the gathered church, for the local body of believers. Yes, give thanks for the universal church and God’s mission to rescue and redeem the elect throughout the world, but give thanks for your church. For your people. For your community of faith. Let these moments of absence, distance, and creative use of technology warm your heart and stir your prayers for the day when we gather again!
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