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I was playing scrabble a few days ago, when it suddenly occurred to me how much things have changed over the last half century, and how those changes haven’t always been for the better. Let me explain. Just after my wife and I were married, we entertained guests to a couple of games of scrabble. Frequently! Just like out in the country there were ‘ceili houses’ – we had scrabble houses! We would play scrabble into the wee small hours. Game after game after game! We would never give up! We argued over the original meanings of words, we invented new words on the fly, hoping that our opponents wouldn’t have the courage to challenge them, and we laughed and joked the whole way through. One of our friends took his scrabble so seriously that he would go and change into his tracksuit, so that nothing would impair his physical enjoyment of the game! Those were good times! The crack was great!

Now, what brought this all back to me was the fact that the scrabble game I was playing a few days ago was with a friend who was at home, some forty miles away, and we were playing on our mobile phones. Gone was the company, the laughs, the jokes, the human interaction. You can’t even cheat when you’re playing scrabble on the phone, for the infernal device would let you insert a non-word. Now isn’t that sad? Playing Scrabble at a distance without all the banter and all the crack – it just isn’t the same.

We all need the personal touch. We need human contact and human interaction. Life is more fulfilled and more rewarding when we can share it with family and friends. God made His church for that very reason. When a person enters into a personal relationship with the Lord, he never leaves them on their own. He makes them part of his church, a living organism, which the Bible describes as being like a body, with every part different, but every part essential. Or like a family, where we’re all closely related, with a loving and protective Father.

Now I know that the church is not perfect – yet. After all, it contains people like me, a sinner who can only rely every day on the Lord for help and forgiveness – but in this new age, when the flip side of technology has sometimes left us feeling isolated and alone, God’s church is a place where He offers us something that this world can’t offer us – God’s unconditional love, and real, meaningful fellowship.

From → Evangelism

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