In 2009, AT&T introduced the iPhone 3g phone using a catchy commercial with the tagline, “There’s an app for that!”
“What’s great about the iPhone is that if you want to check snow conditions on the mountain, there’s an app for that. If you want to check how many calories are in your lunch, there’s an app for that. And, if you want to check where exactly you parked the car, there’s even an app for that. Yep, there’s just about an app for anything… Only on the iPhone.”
To be able to tap into a source that provides an answer for many of life’s daily questions is an indispensable asset. While the iPhone, with all of its apps, was introduced only a few years ago, the ability to tap into an answer source for life’s issues has been around for more than 2000 years. It’s called the Bible, and, yep, there’s even an app for it on the iPhone.
With a chronology of the creation of the world and man, including countless stories and words of wisdom, the Bible is the most prolific guidebook for humans, and answers many of life’s troubling and most profound questions.
…Continued from The Herald
In fact, there are clever, noteworthy and descriptive acronyms for the word Bible: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, or Best Instruction Book for Living Everyday, or Be Informed Before Life Ends. These acronyms, along with the number of copies sold, attest to the Bible’s importance and usefulness. It serves as an owner’s manual for life. And, similar to tapping into the apps on the iPhone, with 31,102 verses in the Bible, whatever the problem, there’s probably an APP (Answer, Principle, Promise) for that.
The Bible foretells that hardships would be experienced in our lives. It offers this advice in Matthew 6:34 (NRSV), “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” It also offers sound instruction for preparation and wisdom for handling burdens when they come. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew11:28 (NRSV).
Viruses have plagued human beings for centuries. Currently, the outbreak of the coronavirus is posing a threat around the world, and has the Centers for Disease Control in the United States as well as the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization on high alert, and scrambling to contain it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus first appeared in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. With a connection to a seafood and livestock market, a suspicion was held that the virus passed from animal to person. Later, and now confirmed, the virus has the capacity to spread from person to person, forcing us to self-quarantine for fear of spreading or contracting the virus. Other recent viruses have included Zika, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and, one of the most common today, the flu, or influenza. If not treated, these viruses can have fatal results. Faced with fatal outbreaks, can hope go viral? Isaiah 53:4 allays our concerns with the following scripture: “Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” (NRSV) Likewise, Luke 5:12-13 gives an example of healing by faith in the story of the man covered with leprosy. “When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.” (NRSV)
The Bible teaches stories of healing and hope like these and others. Despite all of the earthly happenings that bring about human suffering, loss and hopelessness, in the midst of destruction, disaster, devastation, in the earth and in the lives of people, there is good news that restores hope, and peace, and even joy. The Bible is clear, however, in its instruction that without faith, there simply is no hope. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1 NRSV) Despite it all, hope remains. Cling to it.
Pogue, Brenda. Excerpts of class paper. Original title: Religious Education: Hope for a Hurting World. Loyola IPS Principles of Religious Education. Chicago. 2020.
 (AT&T 2009)
 (The Free Dictionary by Farlex n.d.)
 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020)