Christians GO

We’ve been chosen to do.

Whether or not Pokémon GO is a flash in the pan or the beginnings of a new age pastime, its global relevance can’t be ignored. Natural and digital worlds collide to birth a new understanding of reality as we know it!

Ninantic and The Pokémon Company aren’t new to the scene. Ninantic jumped into the arena of augmented reality with Ingress; on the other side Pokémon has provided a place for trainers to cooperate and compete for over two decades. What the two bring together can shape the future of augmented reality. It’s in this blend of ideas that I came across an analogy that may help to show the glory of Jesus in His saving work over 2000 years ago.

What am I saying, that I think of Jesus while playing a Pokémon game? (I anticipate seeing Jesus through any game I engage or it’s not worth playing.) What I’m wanting you to see is how Pokémon GO acts as a bridge between two worlds.

Pokémon GO is a combination of the uncharted and the endearing. Pokémon has been with families for over 20 years now — full of enjoyment, events and memories. Whether it’s the games or anime that you’ve noticed before, but you certainly know the name: The endearing; the familiar.

Jesus bridges the gap between God’s purity and our wickedness.

Then there’s augmented reality. In humble applications, it helps feed scores to your TV screen during a sports event. Ambitiously, it’s integrated into contact lenses and can be used to generate a map of the night sky’s constellations. While tech enthusiasts celebrate such “advantages”, the general public is left wondering what to make of it all and are rather reserved towards other realities: The uncharted.

Bridging the Infinite Gap

The real work is bringing these realities together into something not seen before. How do you get people to grasp the uncharted? Combine it with something the people have knowledge of. Pokémon GO is that bridge for the familiar and uncharted. Augmented reality gets an assist from an endearing brand.

Now the analogy. Through human sin (culpable error), death entered the world and has marred our existence since. Pain lurks; Sadness looks intently for an opportunity to strike; Failure threatens to halt dreams. Humanity is truly left always wanting more: The broken familiar.

From beyond the Garden of Eden, revealed throughout the pages of Scripture, Perfection guides an imperfect world patiently. We are shown an existence without sin. We are shown the God of Creation who is absolutely holy — the Light in whom is no darkness at all (1Jn 1:5); The Reality full of grace and truth, in which joy abounds and no evil decisively wins (Jn 1:14). We are told of One who cares and loves us, yet we removed ourselves from knowing Him — The uncharted.

Enter Jesus. The God of Creation forever binding humanity to himself. The plan: to live a sinless, loving life while suffer injustice and death; triumph over it all by being raised from death, since One who didn’t sin couldn’t stay buried; and ascend back into heaven for a time for the specific purpose of bringing us to reality that God is wonderfully loving and gracious (1Pt 3:18).

Jesus bridges the gap between God’s purity and our wickedness. Jesus’s work (faithful obedience) grants him authority to pour out his right-standing with God into the familiar, bringing the uncharted and humanity together in cleansing, life-giving power!

A Movement for the Ages

Jesus is the hope and future of both worlds, revealing that God isn’t foreign nor impotent, but loving and faithful, mighty to save lost souls. I’m not sure what will unfold for Pokémon GO, but we’re assured that Jesus’s work is eternal.

Pokémon GO has been a movement, easing the gap for augmented reality and the public, revealing there are good and enjoyable and useful applications to this foreign technology.

Christianity is a movement started by God to foster new relations with his people. This movement is over 2000 years strong and counting!

Christianity isn’t to be categorized as if merely one of many religions. Even when God spoke to Moses and said, “I AM Who I AM”, He was making it clear that the idols of Egypt (or any other) don’t fall into his unique category. Jesus is far above all things seen and unseen (Eph 1:20-21).

So what are we to make of this? A challenge. A challenge to stay humble. Let’s be aware of who Jesus is and what he does. He’s still bursting onto the stage of people’s lives. Still omnipotent. Still ready to save! That is exciting. That is remarkable.

Calling all Christians, whether starting out a month ago or 30 years ago — God chose you! Run with zeal and share this glorious news: the gap is forever closed if we just believe! Jesus is life.

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