The exhortations in the picture sounded like Jesus. It seemed like the divine, to which nothing is a limitation, was bursting forth through the game screen. It was foolish of me to attempt the game on 2G but that’s what turned my attention to the message on the screen that had the plausible resemblance to a Bible message. Another look at the screen made it seem straightout of the Book of Revelation, which gave me a smile. Pokémon Go was now kindling my imagination.
Alas! Three Bible verses popped up in my head as I stared at the note on the screen:
Luke 12:46a The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The first talks about the return of Christ of which we know nothing of the day and the hour. We are simply asked to be prepared. There simply is no time to mess around and we have no business doing so! Keeping our act together, living according to the guidance of God through the Word, worship and fellowship, was paramount, lest we fall into the clutches of sin and darkness.The second verse warns us from taking things lightly all the time, making us aware of the dangers we could fall into. We are hearing reports of people who endangered their lives chasing Pokemons and even crossing international borders, gravely violating rules without realizing.
The third verse that came to me was :
Matthew 26:10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
How beautiful! Jesus was aware of the deepest longings of the woman who was anointing him. He saw through the daring of a potentially shameless woman who was being despised for being present too near him; for crossing the Jewish line of etiquette and socio-spatial gender boundaries. Why would she do that?
Let’s consult ourselves first. We chase Pokemon for fun, right? Are you sure? What’s in a game that seeks to catch creatures that are not there physically yet exist on the screens and the technology mediated world of virtual reality? Surely, it’s more than fun. There’s a sense of achievement. The Pokemon we caught which others haven’t enhances our sense of uniqueness. Everyone wants to feel special – and appreciated. We all want our moment when we are accepted, acknowledged and asked for.
In gathering together at the gyms and other public places, defending our Pokemon’s, we seek community. We all want to know that we are not alone. If we are too proud to ask the company of others, we can form communities (that may or may not last),” accidentally, through these defensive alliances. Yes, we want relationship. We are a different person,without them. We seek proximity and interaction, we seek protection and care. And we go after Pokemon. We live, move and have our being in a broken world that chases after… Pokémons.
Jesus is aware of what we seek. He asks us to be aware of what our neighbour seeks. Just as he was. Aware of her deepest longings, Jesus tells speaks on behalf of her, calling her act, beautiful. Despite her brokenness, the woman knew where to go. Do we know where to go with our brokeness? Which way do we guide the broken people around us, especially the ones who come our way?
So the two injunctions that appear as Pokémon Go loads have deep meaning for anyone who seeks a meaningful life – one that we can truly call LIFE. In short, the Truth – that which is real, which is actual. No floss.
And there is one who said “I am … the Truth.” Leonard Sweet tells us that in Christian faith the Truth is not a statement, law or method; it is a person.
If Pokémon symbolizes that ultimate thing we are searching for inorder to satisfy us, then, Jesus is the ultimate Pokémon. May our search for Pokémon lead us to the Truth who is none but Jesus.
He is waiting to embrace you when you find him.