The End of the Big Book?

When I logged on to my facebook account this morning, I saw that USA Today was asking the question, "Do you remember the last time that you used a Yellow Pages directory?" Then there was a link to the following article about the declining use of phonebooks for information.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2011-06-01-phone-books-disappearing_n.htm

With the increased use of the internet for information, I am not surprised by phone books becoming an "antiquated industry," to quote the article. But I must confess that no matter how much I enjoy facebook, email, blogging, googling, and other activities of the web, I still love the phone book. Yes, the print is small, the pages are thin, and the overall weight is heavy. However, I still use this big book multiple times a week to look up phone numbers and addresses in this community.

One of the reasons that I love this old book is that to look at one page is overwhelming. Each page contains close to one hundred names, and each name is a human being loved by God. Each business listed is someone or some organization trying to make a way in the world. Every bit of space is used to provide ways of connecting with one another. We live in a time where Facebook & Twitter try to "connect" us in new ways, but let us not lose the personal touch of looking up one another's name. God knows us by name, and we are to love each other with the same devotion. I will not mourn the phone book if it completely disappears, but I will mourn our lack of personal contact. Whether the big book stays or goes, let us continue to live as a community that cares enough to call each other by name.

grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian