Thursday, 24 March 2011

Don’t you know it? Bible Year 2011 (10)

I have a Bible on my Blackberry. In fact, I have lots of versions on my phone thanks to Youversion. However, I sometimes feel embarrassed getting my Blackberry out during a service as it looks like I’ve had enough of the liturgy and started to check my emails. I have a mate whose wife wants to get a sign which says ‘It’s O.K. he’s reading the Bible on his iPhone’ to avoid the scowls of disgruntled worshippers.

A couple of days ago I was chatting to a colleague and one of our area bishops and the conversation turned to Bibles on phones and iPads. My colleague explained that in the parish he had encountered a problem with reading the Bible on his phone when visiting parishioners. No sooner has he turned to an appropriate passage than the parishioner says something like ‘Oh, that’s very clever, what sort of phone is that? Can I have a look please?’ Accessing his Bible on his mobile became a distraction in such circumstances and so he has reverted to the printed word. The bishop joked that only the Word of God on the printed page was good enough, before going on to quip that more preferable still would be a scroll or perhaps a wax tablet.

As a wet behind the ears curate I learnt an important lesson while visiting an elderly housebound member of the congregation. I asked her what she would like me to read and she requested Psalm 121. I explained that I only had my New Testament with me. For some bizarre reason you are only given the New Testament when ordained deacon and get the whole enchilada when ordained priest. ‘Don’t you know it?’ my parishioner asked, before proceeding to recite Psalm 121 word for word. She then went on to various evening prayer collects by which time I was in a cold sweat. Needless to say, I never left the house without a Bible and a small copy of the Book of Common Prayer tucked in my jacket pocket after that experience.

I think back to my pastoral visits some 20+ years ago and reflect on how much easier it would have been if I’d had my Blackberry with Bible and daily prayer at the click of a couple of buttons. Then I remember that lovely faithful elderly lady I used to visit and I begin to shake as I think about what she would have said if I’d got my mobile out in the middle of our chat.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

1 comment:

colindarling said...

my wife used to get very embarrassed when I read the readings or did bible word searches connected to the sermon while also listening. So now I just doze off :-) which seems to offend nobody so long as I sit towards the back. It's me up this Sunday so I may need a strategy to enliven the good folk. Last time I led I showed a cool video clip - partly for our tiny number of young people and an older member shouted "AWFUL!" . . . maybe there is something to be said for strategic dozing off!!