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The Word on the Week

Saorview.

You have been warned! At every opportunity we are being asked, “Are you ready for the big switch”. You have till next Wednesday. It has been decreed by our masters in the Republic of Telly that 24th October is the deadline. No extension will be permitted. Your Telly will go blank!

Now, of course, this only applies to those not equipped with piped or Sky TV. The more rural dwellers are the ones at risk. Appeals are being broadcast to “help someone with the switch”. We can anticipate hoards of neighbours, with good intentions, clambering over roofs with a satellite dish in one hand and a UHF aerial in the other bent on a mission to restore the picture.

But what of the alternative. What if we let it go blank? Some of us have a love/hate relationship with the box and a break from it might have therapeutic benefits? Think of the books waiting to be read, the sermons to be downloaded and all that music which you haven’t played for years! Think of the freedom from “breaking news” which promises much but delivers little!

Of course there are certain sporting fixtures which may loose a bit of their passion when heard on the radio and what would we do without those pictures of swirling clouds enveloping Ireland as we get caught in yet another Atlantic low! The weather forecast just wouldn’t be the same!

Perhaps the best arrangement would be a delayed “making the switch” so that we can get a taste of “life before Telly”!

What’s the switch all about? It seems many are asking. Google has recorded approximately 500,000 hit on its Saorview site. The answer – it’s switching from the old analogue signal to the new digital one.

So how big a grip has the Telly got on your life and mine? There is only one way to find out and that is to see how we react when the screen goes blank.

Is it a one eyed monster in the corner which helps us form our opinions? Is it where we get our information about the world, highly selective as it is, depending on where the cameras are at any given moment?

Is it the channel through which we get our role models as the “soaps” make a drama out of a crisis and introduce violence as normal human behaviour?

Jesus didn’t say a lot about what we look at but what he did say was to the point: – “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness”. (St Matthew Chapter 6 verses 22/23)

Filter your Telly through a relationship with Jesus as the writer to the Hebrews put it, look to Him: – “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews Chapter 12 verses 1b-2).