It was a new day in 1858 when America and Great Britain celebrated the first trans-Atlantic cable message from Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan. The 99-word message took 17 hours and 40 minutes to travel under the sea. The message was transmitted on Aug. 16 and delivered on Aug. 17.
Contrast this with a modern couple who posted photos of their newborn daughter on the Internet within minutes of her birth for their American family to view. Nothing unusual about this, except the new father and mother were in Japan!
A few years ago I got a church ministry assistant in another city on the phone. I sent a photo attachment to her via computer and talked with her as she identified the people in the picture to me. Such was impossible a few years ago when we relied on mail service that might take days to accomplish. I talked about this in class the next day and the college students simply rolled their eyes!
Young people take instantaneous communication for granted, but I still sometimes marvel at what we have now. We've come a long way since Samuel F. B. Morse's simple telegraph message in 1844: "What hath God wrought?"
Not only is communication far swifter today, but there's more of it. The latest figures available state nearly seven billion cell phones are in use. I still find it hard to fathom that grammar school children have cell phones in their backpacks, but it's a new day. I've chided college students for bringing phones to class fearing they might potentially interrupt, but many students don't wear wrist watches anymore. Their cell phones are their watches.
By the way, I understand the most common question when talking on a cell phone is "Where are you?" Former NPR on-air personality Garrison Keillor was correct when he called them modern-day “locator devices"!
We have a lot to say today and we can say it very quickly.
During this Easter season we focus on a very significant message delivered by an angel at the empty tomb: "He is not here. He is risen" (Matthew 28: 6).
Angels in the Bible have two purposes: to praise God and to deliver messages. Come to think of it, Christians have the same calling. We praise God corporately in public worship and privately in personal devotion. And we're charged to complete the four Easter imperatives in our lives: come, see, go and tell (vs. 6-7).
We've found forgiveness and new life in Christ. Now it's God's plan that we take the message to others. And God is good to have given us modern technology the church can "baptize" and use to communicate to our world.