Can you imagine if all the current technology, or more specifically, today's means of communication existed when the Bible was being written? Especially most of the new testament ... the Epistles. Picture it.
The Apostle Paul has sent you a friend request.
How do you know the Apostle Paul?
The Apostle Paul has written on your wall.
Status Updates : Apostle Paul thinks that Jews and Gentiles should worship together in one body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul has uploaded a photo from his iphone of prison.
Or what if Paul just had a blog. Would the professional scribe, Tertius, know what to do?
Do I really have any clue about scribes in bible times, or a man named Tertius? Not really. Today however, I read a bit about it. It was actually quite fascinating ... obviously, it made my mind wander to today's style of communication. I was reading about Greek and Roman letter writing. About how letter writing began as a means of official communication for military affairs and governmental administration. It went on to tell about the development of paper. (Can you even imagine living with no paper? That's one of those convieniences that we forget didn't always exist. Just like email, right? Right ....) Even after the development of paper, it was still complicated to send letters due to the lack of our beloved USPS. Letter writing in the New Testament era really only manifested in existing relationships....family, or aquantences. It stated that "letters were meant to fulfill three basic purposes; to provide basic or necessary information, to make requests of a social superior or give instructions to a subordinate, and to maintain and develop the personal relationship between the correspondents. The letter served as a substitue for the actual presence of the writer."
Why this all sent my brain spinning between then and now, I don't know. It did make me question the current set ups of email, facebook, blogs, twitter, cell phones, etc.... How times have changed. And while I'm thankful for the conviences we have today ... even from when I was a kid ... I mean, seriouslly, I had to stand in one spot in the kitchen to talk on the phone - well, until my dad got that 30 foot phone cord, that was cool. Anyway ... has the reason for communicating really changed that much since Pauls day? Of course, as a result of our ever growing technology, more and more people have been able to even hear of this man named Paul ... even better, a man named Jesus. For that, I'm thankful, and I believe God has blessed man's efforts to communicate more effectively.
More effectively ... that is where I continue getting hung up a bit on modern communication. I still wrestle with my community being centered around my computer. I still wrestle with my heart being heard through blogger (sometimes). I still wrestle, with Aaron mostly, on the purpose of status updates ... are we egotistical, only thinking of ourselves, or are we yearning to communicate more openly with those in our lives. As I was pondering such things, God gently reminded me of this - my life is to reflect Him, and His gospel. In whatever form that is manifested - it will always remain true. He reminds me that for from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. (Rom 11:36). Then the kicker for me - He reminded me to, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths (or out of your computer), but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (or read or see if it's those nice photo uploading thingies). (Eph. 4:29, italics mine - obviosly) Straight from my heart, through my mouth, or into my computer for the world to read are often things that shouldn't be. I shudder. Forgive me Lord. May my words, be they spoken or written bless you. May they point others to you.
When is the last time you even used paper that didn't come through your printer??? :)