Long ago, I took a photography class in college in which we took and developed our own pictures in the “photo lab.” I think of all the variables we were taught regarding our cameras, using different lenses and f-stops, for instance. I think about how we had to go into the dark room to roll our film onto a reel and how we had to use photo paper placed in a chemical solution for a time to reveal the image we had taken.
I know I missed a lot of steps in the process for those of you who are professional photographers, but my point is that in today’s digital world, I as an amateur photographer do not need to worry about any of these steps anymore. All I have to do now is hold up my smartphone, hit the camera icon, and tap the red button to take a picture that I can send immediately to all my friends and family.
This change in photography reminds me that there are changes in the church that are sometimes hard to keep up with. There is “the way we used to do it” and the way “everybody is doing it” now. This has particularly come to light with the onset of the coronavirus and the advent of highly developed online worship and other ministries taking place as a result.
My thought is that the old or new way is neither bad nor good, better or worse. It just is. And we have to adjust to what is regardless of what way we may have done things in the church before. So click on that Zoom link from your parish. Watch that YouTube video of your Bible study. Listen to that podcast from your pastor. The new ways may not feel comfortable at first, but in the end they are doing what the old ways have always done: gotten the Word of God out to the people who need to hear it. And a picture of our good and loving Savior, Jesus Christ, is revealed.