Hermits Rock

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The first ever PowerPoint worship at my church went down with only a few hitches today. It was a little frustrating that the song leader changed slides before the notes were finished. This same song leader was the instigator of this multimedia church. “A digital projector,” he said, “will change our worship for the better!” He’s also the one who prepared the slideshow.

Apparently, there is a vast array of Web sites that provide slides and generic images for just such moments as a multimedia Eucharist service. For that reason, splashed onscreen at communion, we had a rather creepy photo of three crosses silhouetted on a hill at sunset. I wished we could sing “Beyond the Sunset.” But the oddest slide of all on this first day was that which was put onscreen before and during the sermon. It declared the moment of the service—“And now [the minister’s] message…”—but below it was a photo, an open red-letter edition of the Bible, spread wide at Mark 13:24. The photo was clear enough to read, in bright red text, these words of Jesus:

“But in those days, following that distress,

”’the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Among the iconography of our tradition an open Bible is among the most popular, and I have often wondered what passage it would be open to. There are many I might have guessed, but this isn’t one of them.



what i want to know is why one is more likely to find this jesus

or this jesus

but never this jesus

in a church powerpoint parade of pictures

I’d run screaming in fear of Jesus #1. How’d he get in? Those lascivious eyes, that creepy reach; he looks like he just broke the door… Run!

#3 is sure knocking on the door of big house. Why does Jesus never knock in the winter?

Frankly, until today, I’ve completely missed the whole PowerPoint sermon craze. Just as I was leaving Arkansas it had made it to Searcy, but I wasn’t spending much time there anymore and the PPts were really conservative then. Words on a blue background, primarily.

i’ve seen both jesuses and the first one scared the bejesus out of me. it’s just so wrong in so many ways.

i think he’s inviting you to go play golf in the links behind him

I like how the first one can be transferred to slides of your choice, as in the templates at the bottom of the page where he appears at all four corners of the slide. The best, though, is that you can make him half invisible. Jesus and his door just might MATERIALIZE OUT OF NOWHERE and use his MAGIC BEDROOM EYES on you!

Does Jesus #1 have blond highlights in his hair?

he’s a true metrosexual!

why wouldn’t he be? he’s the son of God!

I want to say that’s his Jesusglow, but I’m afraid you’re right. He looks as though he just got back from a trip to an Aveda salon. (Also evident because his hair’s been layered.)

Yeah, there was something about that picture that was making me think of Jennifer Anniston, and now you’ve pointed out what that is.

I bet he takes good care of his skin.

This is all so frightening I don’t even know where to start. It’s so frightening I started a sentence with “this” (a cardinal sin of unspecificity in my family).

Power corrupts; Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.