Socks have now become smarter than parents. And grandparents. There is a smart sock on the market that wraps around a baby’s foot and tracks the heart rate, oxygen level, and sleep/wakefulness. Smart socks use a technology called pulse oximetry. The sock comes with a base station that glows green to let you know everything is okay. If the baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels go below preset zones, the light changes and an alert is sounded. And OF COURSE there is a phone app for remote monitoring.
This new generation of babies is probably the most observed generation. With monitors, over-the-crib cameras, and smart socks, parents can watch their babies on their phones all day long.
Back in the old days we used to just stand at the nursery door and listen.
Observation is an interesting thing. Where once observation of infants took place from two floors down solely by listening and running up the stairs to peek through the door, now observation comes by smart phone.
Jesus was a master of observation. He didn’t even need an app.
Matthew 23 (The Message)
1-3 Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.
His observations on the Pharisees were on point, and he sounded the alarm. God’s people were being ruled by the minutiae of the law by men who weren’t living out the spirit of it.
4-7 “Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’
In the kingdom of God, there is no hierarchy. Jesus is our only Teacher, and God is our only authority. We have one Life-Leader who will show us the way.
8-10 “Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
His observations on the hypocrisy of the leaders of his day led him to call them out, and challenge the people to return to God and seek a direct relationship with him. Where is God calling you to return to his heart? As he is monitoring your pulse rate, is your heart beating in concert with his?
11-12 “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.