Some time ago, I got an E mail from Ross. Ross was our IT guy. When my computer broke, I’d go to Ross. When it got gummed up, I’d call Ross. When the wireless would not work, I’d cry out to Ross. Ross has most likely muttered my name under his breath for calling him at all hours to get me out of some digital jam. But non-techie that I am, I am eternally grateful for guys like Ross.
His E mail was entitled “Anti-Spam Mail Service Upgrade.” He told us about our need for more effective anti-spam service because of all the “spam” messages we were getting.
Spam? Perhaps I better explain. The old definition of spam was a brand of spiced pork—a kind of gross tasting deviled luncheon meat spread. When it comes to lunch, many people do not like spam! But in the internet world, almost no one likes spam. Spam is a word for unwanted E mails that you did not request. They clutter your mail box and often deliver nasty viruses to your computer. Spam is not good for your computer or mine. But it keeps coming at us.
Ross said that in the course of a week over 50,000 spam messages were blocked by our anti-spam service. In a month, over 237,000 spam messages were blocked by our anti-Spam service. And last year, alone over 2.8 million spam messages were blocked by our anti-spam service. Then he said that a whopping 96% of all mail sent to our church web site is blocked because it is spam. Talk about a load of junk mail.
But friends, when I read that, it occurred to me that all day long every one of us has a lot of junk messages coming at us. It comes at us when we turn on the TV, when we go on line, or if we just sit around and do nothing. Spam is coming at us all the time. Texts are flying through the air. Some of those messages can cause a boatload of trouble if we receive them. So we better have our personal anti-spam service renewed and in good order.
Have you ever thought of Sunday morning worship as an “anti-spam service?” How do we filter all of the text messages and spam messages that come at us? Do you have any internal sieve to catch and eliminate all the junk messages? Many people don’t. They may possibly have a spam filter for their computer, but not for all the other channels in which spam comes into our lives.
Corporate worship is one of those incredibly important filters for us to shut out the spam messages of the world, and to hone in on the most important text message ever given. In worship we have the awesome privilege of hearing God’s text read and proclaimed to us.
The apostle Peter once wrote “the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.” (1 Peter 1.25). It was his way of saying that there is so much perishable junk mail all around us. Not only is it not good for us, but it will not last. But, thankfully, we have the “imperishable…living and enduring Word of God.” Each time we take it in, it acts as an anti-spam service which renews our mind.
Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way. Neither did I. Thank God for Ross, the IT guy.