Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch newsletter 8 November 2020
The Mater told me today what time I have to roll up on Tuesday (8am). The usual stuff about not eating after midnight (do I splurge on a big dinner on Monday, or a light supper?), only water after 6am. No alcohol for 24 hours before the op or 24 hours after an anaesthetic. Bring an overnight bag. Which in the old days (in this context, I’m not sure when the old days ended) for me would have included a bible. I have lots of bibles on my shelves and scattered around the house. Do you know, I don’t read any of them. Nor do I take one of them with me when I go to church or to hospital or visiting. But I always have a bible with me, something which didn’t even happen in the old days. That’s because I use a bible app on my phone and iPad, and on my iMac and laptop. More versions than Harry Potter, Greek and Hebrew side-by-side, listen to Hebrew pronunciation, spoiled for choice for commentary at the swipe of a screen or click of a mouse. “Ah”, you say, “but you can’t scribble in the margin or underline a passage!” Yeah I can, easy peasy, with a keyboard or a digital pen, I can even make the margin note look like my own handwriting (not too much like my own handwriting or I wouldn’t be able to read it). And whatever I note on one device, immediately pops up on all of them. www.olivetree.com There are others, Logos and Accordance, they’re stupidly expensive. And if olivetree is too pricey for you (it needn’t be), there’s www.biblegateway.com, completely free. I sometimes leaf through a hymnbook, but more often than not I read those online too. No analogue hymnbook can keep up with the prolific output of “Jesus is my boyfriend” Hillsong ditties anyway. I mention this, because God’s Word Written is more widely available than ever its been. Live in a country where possession of a physical bible will land you behind bars or worse? No problem, an anonymising browser and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection and the world and The Word is your oyster. Every nano-second of every day, God’s Word is whizzing across the globe at gigabyte speed, in every language to every nation. And into space! Isaiah 55:
... my word that goes out from my mouth:
it will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.