Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Use your smart phone (and other tech) like Jesus

February 12, 2023

Daily Scripture

Mark 12:28-31, Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12
28 One of the legal experts heard their dispute and saw how well Jesus answered them. He came over and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one LORD, 30 and you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength [Deuteronomy 6:4-5] 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself [Leviticus 19:18]. No other commandment is greater than these.”

Philippians 4

8 From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Scholar William Barclay noted that rabbis in Jesus’ day held two differing ideas. Some believed “there were lighter and weightier matters of the law…great principles which were all-important to grasp.” Others “held that every smallest principle was equally binding.” * Jesus wasn’t unsure about that—he said some principles are central, far more vital than others. Loving God and loving your neighbor, Jesus said, are the greatest commandments, defining expressions of God’s will. The apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4 came, not from some peaceful meadow or Sunday School room, but a chilly, damp Roman prison cell. Writing about joy and peace in that grim setting, Paul knew that what we choose to focus on can weaken or strengthen our relationship to God and to other people.

  • Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6’s sweeping words: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Didn’t leave much out, did it? Then, from Leviticus 19 he added, “You will love your neighbor as yourself.” How can those two great commandments form the foundation from which to make all life choices, including your use of technology? Jesus said all the truths we know about what God wants “depend” on those two commands. How would you explain to someone what makes these two commands so basic? Can you recall any belief you held that led you to be unloving, maybe even without realizing it? Paul linked our ability to live in God’s peace with the mental “diet” we choose. The Greek phrase rendered “focus your thoughts” “means more than ‘keep in mind’ or ‘think about.’ It is rather… reflect carefully upon them so that they may shape your conduct. These good qualities… need to be transformed into action.” ** How might applying Philippians 4:8 change your tech choices?

Lord Jesus, teach me how to think your thoughts. Guide me into a thought life obsessed, not with fear, anger or ugliness, but with all the is excellent and admirable. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso

Megan DelGrosso is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Kansas City with her husband and two children when she joined the Resurrection staff in 2021. She is the rezlife Student Ministry Director for the Leawood location after 10 years of student ministry and non-profit work in Pittsburgh. Megan loves spending time with her family, beach life, Marvel movies, and exploring new places.

As we talk about technology, I can’t help but recall the many years I have tried to give up some form of social media for Lent. There were times social media felt toxic, and hostile. But it was still almost a reflex to pick up my phone, or open the computer, and look to some form of social media. It felt impossible to give up, but I was committed, until I wasn’t. The reason I gave up trying to avoid it surprised even myself.

As I started having conversations with people in my life, I realized avoiding social media meant I was missing out on things that people were sharing online. Even people I saw every day. Friends would share their pictures of new babies, new homes, new pets, announcements of grief and loss, requests for prayer, birthdays, college choices, sports wins. I missed out on opportunities to reach out to friends to celebrate with them, or care for them. I had a whole hub of connection, and I didn’t even realize it because I had been so focused on the negativity that can sometimes overtake social media and technology.

About a year and a half ago I moved from Pennsylvania to Kansas City. Since I have been gone, social media has become even more of a lifeline for me to stay connected with people I miss, and love. It’s a gift to be able to celebrate with your family from hundreds of miles away because I can’t always be with them. I can’t begin to imagine how Jesus would use a cell phone or social media, but I wonder if he would find it a helpful relational tool, building communities and networks of support, connection, and prayer from all over the world. I wonder if he would see it as an opportunity to love neighbors who are near and far and build lasting connections with people.

We have the power to determine how it influences our daily life. For me, I am choosing to utilize technology as a tool for positive connection in my life, and I have made some choices to ensure it is that. Technology truly is my lifeline to connect with the people I love. It has also given me the platform to respond to Jesus’ call to love my neighbors. But not just my neighbors here in Kansas City, down the road, or in our church community. Technology has allowed me to remain in communities that are thousands of miles away, by providing space and opportunity to celebrate together, grieve together, and do life together. My hope for you is that technology can be a powerful, and positive tool, for connection and community building in your life as well.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Mark (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 294.
** I-Jin Loh and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1977, p. 134.1