One of my favorite themes emerging from the Christmas story is the way the word (or, more accurately, The Word - of the Incarnation) got out to a world that was mostly looking the other way. The angels, the shepherds, the Wise Men and others – all had a part. (Illustration: The Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881).
In a series of lectures (Christ and the Media) given back in the 1970s, Malcolm Muggeridge did a couple of thought experiments on getting the Word out then and now. In a lecture called "The Fourth Temptation" he wondered whether the the truth of the Gospel compatible with mass media (which Muggeridge considered a medium given over completely to fantasy); in another ("The Dead Sea Videotapes")
he theorized over what future generations would infer about modern culture if its only surviving artifacts were tapes of TV programs.
Interesting questions, which have only become more intriguing and complex with the rise of networks since Muggeridge thought all of this over. We have more options than ever for communication and discourse, on whatever subjects seem most important to us. Which of these are best suited to getting the Word out?
" … it should be rather obvious at this point that thoughtful, well-written blogs can rival other forms of publication. For instance, a baseball statistician and political junkie armed with little more than a free Blogger account and considerable intelligence and energy was able this year to rival the election analysis of most professional newspaper reporters."
We know what we know about the Incarnation only because the first witnesses made the best use of the means of communication available to them – whether the heavenly choirs, word of mouth, or the written word. The challenge of "getting the word out" now is identical and more varied at the same time:"Unto us a Son is given".