The unboxing

Phone, still boxedMy mobile phone of three years showed signs of instability after General Assembly, so rather than waiting for it to fail, I decided to get a new one. It arrived today.

There’s a custom of photographing the unwrapping — “unboxing” — esteemed electronics and then sharing the photos and thus the experience. This is considered normal behavior among Apple goods owners (I am not one) but it still strikes me as a bit precious, even ostentatious.  After all, what does it show, other than the ability to buy things?

Phone and gear in open boxI suppose it shows this: how lovely the thing is in itself, and more, how lovely it comes to the new owner. It is worth having, and cherishing. Since, I’ve seen beautifully packaged clothes, snack foods and charitable solicitation appeals that have the same attention to presentation. And, to be honest, they do seem better than the alternative, and so make me feel better about myself. I look forward to the moment of acquiring something, and not just the having (and so take pains to not shop for this thrill, but that another story.)

Phone in handSo, we turn to churches. In this culture where even a knockoff laptop battery (bought before GA) is carefully wrapped, how do we change how we prepare our churches for worship? Or present certificates and awards (when we do so) or arrange candles or implements of worship? Or share refreshments, or post signs?

Or any of a thousand ways we can say, “this house of worship is special, and beautiful, and you are welcome” — or not.

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