We are shaped by our experiences. Our lives are marked by where we were in those “life moments.” I remember sitting in front of the TV set with my parents in November of 1963, watching the news footage of the shooting and death of President John F. Kennedy. I remember being in my office in Birmingham on September 11th of 2002. Someone ran into my office and turned on the TV as the second plane hit the towers. Years from now, we will be calibrating our lives pre and post Covid-19.
But even more than those “big” moments, the smaller moments, the lesser life experiences get us ready us for where God might lead. Our day to day experiences can prepare us to be useful in the midst of the next “big” moment.
In 1975, Channel 5 in Nashville purchased live remote capabilities. They were big trucks with sattelite dishes on the top of each truck, filled with switchers and monitors and all kinds of electronics. It was an incredible investment and unheard of for a TV market the size of Nashville at that time . But the owners of the station wanted to make a statement and get some attention. I did my first reporting ever, as a live feed from a Vanderbilt football game. Yes, I started as a sports reporter, not because I know anything about sports, I do not, but because there was an opening and I went for it. The second important factor in this story is that when a station the size of ours made that kind of investment…the return on investment factor meant that we would be “live” every night, every news cast …. No matter what. We jokingly called it “live from the hot dog stand.” Of course, when there was a prison riot and through various weather emergencies, the live feeds would be invaluable. And going live every night (even if occasionally from the hot dog stand) would teach us how to use the technology. I learned TV news from the perspective of LIVE on Five. Going live, going remote became second nature to me.
Fast forward some 45 years. Last Sunday we did our service as a live stream from the sanctuary with about 6 people on hand. We live stream every Sunday, so it was natural for us. Still we had some ways to improve and were working on those when we got the next curve ball. Several of us were exposed to a confirmed and active case of the virus. Pastor James and I went into isolation and the rest of the church staff scattered to work from home. Not having our service on Sunday never crossed my mind. If we could not be at the church we would simply be coming from remote locations. And yes, 45 years later, the camera and the equipment have vastly changed, but the principles and the basics are still the same. However the signals are finding their way through the air you can still record from multiple sites and bring a story or a report OR a service together.
Just to reinforce the message, God also reminded me that my son-in-law whose office is just outside my bedroom, does live streaming for a living. I often say that sometimes God is just not very subtle with me.
So we are “on”…. Sunday should be something special. In many ways extraordinary, because God’s message of hope and love will not be contained. God is making sure that we get the word out to as many as we can. If it seems like the sky is falling, our God sits above the sky.
We’ll be on at 9 and 11 on Sunday. It will certainly not look the same; but it will carry the same message. Look for it and look out, God is on the move.
Grace and Peace,