Hundreds of people of all ages, races and genders, all over the world are looking for something. In the UK some people didn't even realise they wanted to look for it until yesterday, and then the craze hit. A craze that is already uniting families and strangers in their quest to catch 'em all. Pokemon Go is that craze. And it is fun!
I am delighted to discover I spend an awful lot of my week, through work and volunteering, at one of our local 'Pokestops', it is the church I attend and I have caught three Pokemon there already!
Will this phenomenon draw people into the church in search of these little creatures, and how can we respond if it does?
Will they understand that once they've caught 'em all, they may still find they are searching for something else?
In Luke chapter 10, Jesus sends out 72 disciples to go and catch 'em all, 'the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few'. Go! Jesus tells them, and don't stop to gather your belongings or greet anyone on the road. Go! Into the towns and villages and if you are welcomed, brilliant, stay there and tell them about me, and if you aren't welcomed, move on, don't waste your time! Go!
I wonder if the 72 took on this challenge as with as much excitement and zeal as the Pokemon hunters of today have? I think they must have, because over two thousand years on, people today know of Jesus as the son of God and Saviour of the world,that craze had a pretty big impact, except it wasn't a craze, because it was most definitely not short lived.
The message those 72 went out with has spread, and Christians today are still 'going' out into the towns and villages and schools and workplaces and pubs and restaurants and, well, anywhere there are people really, going to find folk who have yet to hear and understand that God loves them and wants a relationship with them.
Maybe we will find young and old gathering at churches or 'Pokestops' up and down the country, I hope we will welcome them in, even if they are looking for Jigglypuff rather than Jesus, and maybe that welcome will be what encourages them to stay and when the craze of hunting these little pocket monsters is long past and has died out, they will instead have found something lasting, something that can never die, something eternal, for Christians that something is their faith in Jesus Christ.
Friday, 15 July 2016
Thursday, 31 March 2016
We've only just come to the end of the third month of the year and my childhood legends are being stripped away one by one.
I'm still in shock with Bowie going and the genius way in which he orchestrated his final days, an artist to the very end.
Even to the point where his ex wife Angie who was in the Celebrity Big Brother house at the time, learned of his death and managed to confuse and convince the other housemates that David Gest had in fact died in the house!
If David Bowie had a sense of humour I'm sure that particular gem would have had him rolling in his grave!
His song release Lazarus stirred up all sorts of comment on David's beliefs and whether he could now be in Heaven, a response to these comments and questions was summed up wonderfully by David Robertson known as The Wee Flea here.
Now Ronnie Corbett, my absolute favourite comedy legend along of course with Ronnie Barker, it was always the Two Ronnies for me, I never was a Morcombe & Wise fan but the two Ronnies had me in stitches every time. I loved their big musical numbers at the end of each show, and the way they played with words was incredible. I could probably still now recite some of their sketches word for word, one of my favourites was them talking in a funny accent in a cafe with the subtitles coming up on the screen as initials: 'L.O.' 'R.U.B.C.?' 'F.U.N.E.X?' Translation: 'Hello' 'are you busy?' 'have you any eggs?'! and I know the lyrics to most of the daft songs!
In between of course the world lost Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Paul Daniels, Terry Wogan, George Martin and many more besides, and the social media posts pleaded with 2016 to 'stop killing off our heroes'.
But most of these heroes we've lost were in their late 60's, 70's and 80's, and I believe the people we looked up to and called celebrities in our childhoods 30odd years ago, we invested more into them, they were special, individually talented, and deserved their celebrity status so we stumble in disbelief when they're gone. But they've got to go, I'm 40 something, my heroes are nearly in their 70's and 80's, they can't stay forever!
I'm preparing myself, it's only a matter of time before we lose the other half of The Who or The Beatles, Sean Connery or Cliff Richard; actually has he already gone?
That's the thing, when you don't know the person you forget they've died, it's a running gag
between myself and my eldest daughter to keep reminding each other Cilla Black is dead, to the point where now if anyone says 'oh, don't forget...' we chip in 'Cilla Black's dead?' because for us nothing changes, we can still play the music, watch the film and it's as if they've never left us.
So with that in mind I'm going to pretend I'm about 10 again and watch my favourite musical number, goodnight both of you!