Keeping up With the Joneses
The saying “Keeping up with the Joneses” comes from a comic strip from 1913. Most of us know it as a saying about competing with or continuing at the same pace as others. That concept is what the comic strip was all about. Toyota based a Super Bowl commercial this year on this concept with three famous Joneses driving Toyotas. They had Tommy Lee, Leslie, and Rashida. (The last two people, I, unfortunately, don’t know. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with the Joneses that well.)
Near the end of the commercial, a fourth vehicle joins the race but it is not a Jones. The fourth vehicle is driven by Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers boy band that formed around 2005. Could the Joneses keep up with him? The idea of “keeping up with” changes as we go forward.
Isn’t that what we face today--keeping up with the world? But, then we aren’t supposed to keep up with the world. We are supposed to be different, as followers of Christ, from the world. And that is true, but when do you step away from the world? Do you step away with the Amish who decided to reject most modern conveniences--most notably the car? Do you step away with the Mennonites, who do drive cars but hold to what we would call older clothing styles and customs? Then there was the man I knew who, drove a car and wore more modern attire, but felt these “new songs” weren’t right. He felt we needed to sing the ones, as he insinuated, that Jesus sang. Though most of the songs he referred to were written 1,500 years or more after Jesus sang a hymn with the apostles. So “keeping up” is difficult to define.
On our way home last Sunday from Winterfest, we decided to join the service here. Holly pulled out her phone and connected through the internet to our webpage, clicked onto the link and we connected with those gathered in South Lyon. As we sang songs with the body here we noticed that the content was very choppy and would cut in and out at times. We knew there were some problems with this, as others who had listened had mentioned it. But what we didn’t realize is how bad it was. At times, it made us almost want to turn it off. We were thinking maybe it was due to a problem on our end because we were after all driving back through the mountains of Kentucky. So we texted Hannah to ask since she’s been home streaming our services the past few months. Nope, that is how it always is.
This is not good.
So, I want to apologize to anyone who has streamed our Sunday morning together and may have had to endure the choppy service. We could have decided that streaming is not a direction we are going to go and like the Amish or Mennonites have stated this is where we are stepping away.
And we would not have been necessarily wrong for making that decision. But since our decision was to keep up in this area, we need to make sure we do it correctly and in a way that is professional and helpful when seen by others.
I am not saying we need to keep up with the Joneses or the Jonases, but that we do need to stay relevant in the way we share Jesus with the world around us. Always staying true to God, His Word, and His purpose. So if we at times, “step away” from the world and at other times “keep up with” the world, let’s always understand the reason why.
Updating our internet, Randy