We have been hearing a lot lately about the benefits and drawbacks of the Internet of Things (or IoT, for short). If you’re unclear on what that is, here is how Wikipedia describes it:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
For me personally the concept kind of gives me the creeps. A segment on 60 Minutes showed how someone can take control of car built in the last ten years remotely because of this new technology. It calls to mind shades of Big Brother and that feeling that everyone is watching you.
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I consider Palm Sunday to be one of the most bipolar days of the Church Year. In fact it is given two titles on the liturgical calendar: Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion.
It begins with a parade of people waving palm branches joyfully praising God for Jesus as he enters Jerusalem. Children and adults alike enjoy re-enacting this scene in our churches on this day. I know I enjoy waving a palm frond my church provides each parishioner as I sing “All Glory, Laud and Honor” as much as the next guy. There are usually little kids laughing and people smiling as we do this sort of playful activity as worship leaders process in.
Parishioners wave palm branches like these at the start of Palm Sunday worship.
But eventually the tone of the service shifts abruptly (by design) as we turn our faces to the cross that looms before our Savior as he fulfills the purpose for which he came: releasing us from sin, death and the devil through his suffering, death and resurrection.
The church I attend often has various readers speak portions of the passion narratives as parishioners go to Communion toward the close of the service. The mood is somber and reflective and evokes a sense of dread.
As I think about the effect such a shift in tone has on me, it reminds me of how shocking and disconcerting this must have been for the disciples. Here Continue reading →