Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Happy 50th Birthday, Cell Phones

It might be hard to imagine a world without cell phones, but there was most definitely a time when they remained the stuff of science fiction. That is, until 50 years ago (4/3/23), to be more exact. April 3 marks a half century of cell phones, albeit it took a little while for the technology powering Motorola engineer Martin Cooper’s DynaTAC cell phone to become a ubiquitous facet of everyday life.

Affectionately dubbed “the Brick,” the DynaTAC—short for Dynamic Total Area Coverage—contained 30 circuit boards, stood nine inches tall, and weighed 2.5 pounds. As Smithsonian Magazine notes in its own retrospective, the first truly mobile phone took approximately 10 hours to fully charge. Even then, conversations were capped at around 35 minutes before the Brick needed to refuel.

It would take another decade for Motorola to release a commercial cell phone. Not many could afford it at a $3,500 price point (roughly $10,600 by today’s standards). Four decades on, and there are now more phones than humans, with 18 billion devices estimated in service by 2025.

After 50 years and billions of phone calls, it might still be difficult to beat the very first cell phone chat from Cooper himself. As Smithsonian Magazine also recounts in its look back, the engineer and inventor allegedly called up the lead cell phone engineer at Motorola’s rival, AT&T. “I’m calling you from a cell phone. But a real cell phone! Personal, hand-held, portable cell phone.” His competitor’s reported response? Stunned silence, along with allegations that the phone call never took place.

Possible Preaching Angle:

The 50th anniversary of the cell phone reminds us of the tremendous communication opportunities now available to us. This technological marvel gives us instantaneous access to people all over the world for a monthly fee. This April also marks the 1,990th birthday of our superior connection to God (April 5, 33 AD). We have instant around the clock communication to confidently speak directly to God through our risen Lord (Heb. 4:14-16), with the added benefit of it being a lifetime prepaid plan (Heb. 9:11-27).

Related Sermon Illustrations

Prayer Apps Raise Privacy Concerns

One of the most well-known maxims of social media is this: if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. For more than a decade, big tech firms like Google and Facebook ...

[Read More]

Professor Challenges Students to Give Up Cellphones for a Week

It's old school in Jacob Dannenberg's college dorm room. He uses an alarm clock to wake him up, handwritten notes for reminders, and an actual wristwatch to keep track of time. ...

[Read More]