Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Fixing Our Privacy Settings

In an issue of CT magazine blogger and church planter Chris Ridgeway writes:

The digital voice assistant from Amazon hears me shoulder my way into the kitchen back door, arms loaded with bags. “Alexa, turn on the lights!” I command with a little desperation. “Thanks, Alexa,” I think as the lights blink on and I avoid a stumble with my gallon of milk. I don’t say it aloud—it’s a little crazy to thank your digital assistant, right? Plus, there’s that little question of who might be listening.

I don’t actually picture a headphoned FBI operative in a van outside. Yet once the lights are on, I sometimes wonder. As of 2020, there were 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world. Forecasts suggest that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion. These nearly universal microphones have started a new wave of discomfort about what or who might hear what we say in our living room or kitchen. What more private moments are these microphones capturing?

Perhaps the best starting place for a Christian view of privacy is to ask: Does anyone have privacy in the presence of an all-knowing God? In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve run among the trees of the garden in shame when they hear their Creator walking through the Garden. God asks, “Who told you that you were naked?” Before their transgression, before the curse, Adam and Eve were “naked and felt no shame.” Now they wear clothes and hide

It starts with: “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open.” If digital adopters worry that someone might be watching, believers know for certain Someone is and they know that Someone can be trusted even when authorities cannot be. Life as a believer starts with the truth that God does hear all and see all. The glowing Alexa in our kitchen becomes a digital icon of a greater spiritual reality.

Terrifying? Reassuring? It’s relational! If God is on our fringes, we feel violated. If he’s at the center, his presence feels like salvation itself. Salvation is a God who hears—who hears the weeping of lost Hagar, the celebration of humble Mary, the secret denial of scared Peter. Salvation is a God who knows our intimacy paradox—the simultaneous longing and fear of being known.

Related Sermon Illustrations

The Privacy Loophole in Your Doorbell

The week of Thanksgiving, Michael Larkin, in Hamilton, Ohio, answered a phone call. It was the local police, and they wanted footage from Larkin’s front door camera. Larkin had ...

[Read More]

Gen Z Welcomes Government Monitoring in Homes

George Orwell’s book 1984 is one of our society’s most frequently referenced illustrations of what life would be like under an authoritarian government. In the book, citizens ...

[Read More]