Reaching for Tablets   Leave a comment

“And [Zechariah] asked for a tablet, and wrote as follows, “His name is John.”  (Luke 1: 63)

There’s a lot of hype today about the new Ipad.

And I’m SO buying into it.  You see, I don’t yet have one of those shiny tools held by so many of my peers.  I gave one to my wife for Christmas, and though I have access to it from time to time, I’ve wanted one of my own ever since I gave one to her.  I feel like I did when I was a child, when weeks before Christmas I identified the one gift I REALLY wanted, and woke up every morning thinking about it.  There’s no way around it.  I’m that kid again (probably never stopped being him).

That’s why the words “And he asked for a tablet,” jumped off the page for me this morning.   Of course, Zechariah didn’t want an Ipad.   He wanted some way to communicate to others that his son should be named John, per his wife, Elizabeth’s wishes (and God’s, oh by the way), not some name that paid homage to Zechariah as the father as was expected by society and tradition.

He needed a tablet, because he was mute.  He couldn’t speak, because months earlier, the angel Gabriel told him he and Elizabeth were going to have a child in old age, a child whose name would be John.  Zechariah, the priest, couldn’t believe it.  And so, either as punishment or as some kind of cosmic consequence of not seeing what was before his very eyes, Zechariah lost his voice  throughout the pregnancy.  Perhaps, as a wise and wonderful member of my church suggests, God didn’t want a priest speaking on his behalf if that priest couldn’t believe what God was telling him.   And,  how can you see something as holy and otherworldly as an angel, and then not believe what he is telling you?

After the child was born, his neighbors and relatives insisted that he be named after Zechariah.   Only after Zechariah reached for the tablet to write, “His name is John” did he regain his voice.  Once he had it, he couldn’t stop talking about how great God was.

Is this why I and so many others want an Ipad?   Have I lost my voice and need some way to tell everyone what God has shown me  —  to proclaim the good news, or to name God’s creation as God commands over and against what the crowds and traditions expect?

Nope.  I want an Ipad to consume information, to be a part of the conversation that so many are having in new ways, using new tools.  I want to be more productive and engaged, and if I’m honest, to be part of the crowd, not speak to it.

This doesn’t mean it’s bad to have or want an Ipad.   But when (i mean “if.”  no, i mean “when”…no, I mean BEFORE) I buy one, I might give some deeper thought as to how I might use it.  Maybe, like Zechariah, I will choose to give voice to speech other than my own.



Posted March 8, 2012 by seawalking in Uncategorized

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