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The Word on the Week

Steve Jobs

The name may not mean much to you but Steve’s resignation as the CEO of Apple Computers this week sent shock waves through the industry. He was the great innovator. He imagined what we would like and went on the produce it. Over four decades he was the brains behind five new computing innovations. First came the Apple Mac computer which was influenced by his love of graphics to make it look good on the outside – the inside looked even better! Then came the iPod allowing the musically minded to have music wherever they go. Next the iTunes tapped into the on-line music market giving infinite choice to the listener. Perhaps the biggest advance came with the iPhone. This is the smartphone which does so many functions that the modern person cannot afford to be without it. Then Steve produced the iPad a tablet reminiscent of the 10×6 inch slate the older of my readers will remember from their schooldays. However this is no piece of slate! With its touch screen you have virtually all the computing power you will ever need at your fingertips. All this stuff came at a time when we wanted to look cool. They became “must have” products. He was the man who gave us back our toys! But Steve has terminal cancer. Has the Bible anything to say on these things? The Psalmist reminds us of the brevity of life, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90 verse 10) Perhaps Steve was thinking about the Psalmist’s view of the brevity of life when he named his last product iCloud. It would appear to have an infinite capacity to store and share the stuff we love. There are overtones too of the cloud in the Apostle’s writing. Using apocalyptic language St Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica about Jesus’s second coming, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13/18)