They were all ages and dressed in various ways: casual, shorts & sandals, work clothes and one couple in formal attire!
It was a bizarre gathering of people who I did not recognize. Perhaps it was it a large family that decided to worship with us that day?
As I approached them, I noticed they all were looking at their cell phones intently and very few were talking to each other.
That gave me a clue. I knew what they were about.
I walked up to them I said in a loud voice: “Welcome Pokémon* players! What’s the occasion?”
By talking with them, I learned that this month, July, 2017 was the one year anniversary of the Pokémon Go Video game. For that occasion, a special, hard to find monster / animal was created and we were the only local spot to have it!
At least 50-60 (wow!) Pokémon players showed up at our “Gathering Tree” to try to “capture” this beast on their cell phones and so advance in the game.
I share this because as I walked away, I wondered about that old church saying:
“If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
Of course, showing up for church and church activities might count, but not for much.
Billy Sunday, noted evangelist once said: “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”
Our friends on the lawn were engaged in some serious game playing visible to everyone!.
And their standing in the community depended on them knowing the rules, using their wits, traveling about town to find new animals/monsters, and then battling with others to grow in experience.
Whew! That’s a lot of work…
What would our faith look like if we took our faith walk with the same passion that these game players had about their game?
Could we be with God at least weekly? Perhaps spending time at home reflecting about God’s love in Christ and what he does for us?
Would our prayers before mealtime and bedtime grow from one liners into a deep thanksgiving for the day and for God’s guidance and strength?
Would we remember to bring our bibles to church, underlining the passage of the day and taking notes on the sermon, the hymns, the anthem and prayers for later reflection?
Would we share with our family and friends a deeper sense of how much Christ loves us and them?
Would we pray for ways to reach out and love them more completely?
I think we would also identify ourselves not just by our actions but by our words as well.
We’d pray with others when they need it, we’d pitch in and help others when needed as well.
We’d participate in the classes offered at Church, and look up reliable sources of Bible insight on the internet.
We’d work to initiate classes into studies and topics we’d like to see offered. (Maybe we can LEAD a discussion group with dvd input?)
We’d join in a mission team like our “FIVE ALIVE”, our Soup Kitchen, our Children’s Education effort, our Choir or Praise Band.
There are LOTS of opportunities to both grow and serve.
Our world is being turned upside down by a serious and global change as we move from a manufacturing society to a digital society. Everywhere we look is effected (Facebook anyone?)
The best way to survive through this pervasive turmoil is to have a strong foundation of trust/faith in Christ, and go share God’s will actively in the body of Christ.
Come and join us for a weekly time to be “under the Gathering Tree” here at Lancaster UMC.
You and those around you are personally invited.
Our very life depends upon it.
What scripture has stayed with you this week?
What have others learned about Jesus Christ because of you?
How goes it with your soul?
Grace and Peace,
Pokémon was a Nintendo video game first released in 1996 Last July, Nintendo came out with a cell phone version called Pokémon Go.
It started a new wave of the Pokémon craze began. All last summer people starting walking around staring at their phones, using them as tracking devices for the animals/monsters
Churches and other “public” buildings became “gyms” where you could meet up with other players, work out to strengthen your character and engage in battles to earn points.)
Let’s meet up next Sunday and strengthen our Spiritual life. OK?