It is so simple. You place the recorder on the podium, press the record button once for stand-by, press the record button a second time to record and voila — the service is recorded. You then follow the step by step procedure to take out the SID card (for you old timers this little card has replaced the tape system in old recorders), put it in the slot on the computer, transfer the recording to the computer and then to the internet. So simple.
There will be no sermon posted this week on the internet. The service did not record.
“What? I thought you said it was so simple. How can something so simple go so wrong?!”
Let me see if I can explain. Our first recorded sermon went very well. I pushed the button once…pushed the button twice…step by step just like I outlined it. I went to upload the service from my computer and got a message from our internet webhost that the recording was too large. So, with our computer tech guy we figured out how to shrink down the audio file so it could be published on the internet. Yeah…so simple.
Our tech guy then took the recorder, pushed a few buttons, gave it back to me and said, “That should do it. Now you won’t have to shrink down the audio files every week to fit on the website.” So simple.
How can something so simple become so complex? I don’t know, however, my ‘To-do list’ for the week just got a little bit longer. The service didn’t record. The system will be fixed. The message needs to be heard.
In this silly, little life experience the Gospel is hidden.
God created human beings to have a special, simple relationship with their creator-God. “You can do anything and everything in the Garden I have created except one thing: don’t eat of the one tree in the center of the Garden. Enjoy the fruits and vegetables; Go fishing on the lakes; Enjoy the wildlife; Walk with me in the cool of the afternoon when I show up. Enjoy all the good I have created for you but don’t eat of that one tree.” So simple.
We ate. We changed the operating system in the devise of our souls and then the simple experience of enjoying life, enjoying God, enjoying each other, and enjoying creation the way God had intended no longer worked. So, God sent the tech guys with new instructions on how to get the system right again. “Do this, reset that, don’t do that, it should work now,” they instructed, and at times it seemed to work. Some people seemed to get it, but most of humanity kept missing the boat.
Then God did something outrageous. God who had designed the system decided to become a part of the system in order to right the system (Matthew 1:23-25). At Christmas we celebrate this event in the birth of Jesus our Lord (Luke 2:1-20). Jesus spent 30 years getting to know and experience the brokenness of the system. He went through all the developmental stages that human beings experience (Luke 2:52). As he began his ministry he proclaimed the good news, “The kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe this good news” (Mark 1:15), i.e., let go of all the previous ‘fix it’ instructions and implement the directions I will give you.” Then he shared the core of this good news in which we are to believe. He said,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
To say it another way,
God, the Creator of the operating system of this world still loves the world. Out of this love he sent his son, the only one who knows the mind and the heart of the Creator, to reset the soul of the world and all those in it who have gone astray. If anyone will accept this Son of God into their lives and allow him to reset the program in their souls they will not only get rid of the old broken down system but they will also begin to experience the simple life as God intended, now and for all eternity.
Years after that first Christmas the Apostle Paul understood this life transforming gift. He put it this way:
If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. The old (system) has passed away and the new one has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
What is so incredible is when you invite the “fix-it guy” into your life he promises to never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:5; Hebrews 13:5). If the system goes hay-wire (and it does seem to go hay-wire often in Lincoln City and elsewhere) he will be right with you to get you up and running once again.
The new way, the restored way, is not found in having a perfect system. That is too complex. The new way is in have an ongoing, eternal relationship with the One who created the system and sent his son and our Lord to keep it running smoothly.