“It’s right side up and back to front”…wrong!
“Right side up and right way round?”…wrong!
“Upside down and back to front?”…wrong!
“So it’s upside down and back to front?” YES!
It had been a long time since I used a slide projector and it was proving to be just enough to confuse the few remaining points of my strained IQ. The reason for the slide projector was that we had pulled out a great set of stories for the kids at our church which included a box of slides… the pictures were colourful, beautiful and the message was both fun and encouraging. The problem was that the machine was pretty ancient and we are so use to technology which is so much more effective (most of us carry phones today which can do more than computers of 5 years ago).
So after we finally worked out which way round the slides should be, we then had to find a dark enough space for the pictures to be bright enough to see. The images looked Ok but they lacked the sparkle that they would have had if they were being shown in a dark room – another issue was the noises the machine made – to stop the slides from melting there was a fan that ran continuously and because of its age that fan was louder than ever – as well as the fan, there was the sound of the changing of each of the slides: a mechanical interchange which sounds a little like the loading and unloading of a gun.
With all these issues it was time to find another solution – we could look for a different story or we could update the method being employed.
The fact was that the story was great, the pictures were wonderful and the message was valuable. So we scanned the slides, put them on a USB stick and we are ready to show the next instalment next week. Probably, in the future, we will have to rethink this new technology as well but it is likely that the story and the message will still be valuable.
This is one thing we must be very careful of as we continue to navigate a world where everything seems to be changing all the time – we have to be careful not to throw out old message just because it may need a new method of expression. We have to be careful not to remain trapped in the past but not to discard that which is still significant.
When was the last time you looked at the unchanging message of Christ in a fresh way?