I WAS SWEARING OFF the printed Bible. Going cold turkey as I headed to church to teach my Bible study class.
It was an experiment this past Sunday.
I had decided not to take my printed Bible or even my printed notes.
I was going to teach a Bible study lesson with nothing but an iPad and my index finger.
The topic was “A bumpy road to Bethlehem.” It was about the travels of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and the journey of the the wise men to Bethlehem, too.
The experiment was a remarkable success, as far as I could tell.
At one point, someone called out to me: “Overachiever!”
I’ve been called worse.
I got the “Overachiever!” tag after someone mentioned the theory about the Star of Bethlehem being an alignment of Saturn and Jupiter in the vicinity of the Pisces constellation. Pisces (fish) represented the Jewish homeland beside the Mediterranean Sea. Saturn represented the Jews because they worshiped on Saturn’s day: Saturday. Jupiter represented kings because it was the king of planets.
I had an illustration of that on my iPad.
So I held it up for everyone to see. And I zoomed in on the planets, showing the 7 BC sky above Jerusalem, looking south to Bethlehem.
I had everything I needed on that iPad, which I bought last week.
I had my notes on the Notes app.
My pictures in the Photos app.
My study Bible in a new NIV Study Bible app I bought.
I even had a song in the Music app. I used the song as a closing prayer.
I was going to use the Celtic Women singing, “You Never Walk Alone.” I chose that, and bought the song from Amazon for 99 cents, because it tracked with the life application point I wanted to make. We all travel bumpy roads to Jesus, but we never have to travel them alone.
When my wife and I were listening to some of the songs I had put on the iPad, one struck my wife. She said, “That would work for the lesson.”
The more I thought about it, the more I agreed.
I tweaked the life application. I said that no matter what bumpy roads we have to travel, we’re all headed toward the same destination of Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and all Christians who want to celebrate an authentically Christian Christmas.
Then I tipped the speaker of the iPad toward the class and let them listen to Fernando Ortega singing “Give Me Jesus.”
That song has special meaning to me. I had it played at my dad’s funeral. If you get a chance to listen to it, I think you’ll understand why.
There was one drawback to the iPad. I would leave my printed Bible and jacket on the church seat while I walked around to talk with people.
But I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the iPad like that.
Why tempt a Christian?