TimeHop and Christian Formation


As a dad, I’ve enjoyed the TimeHop app because it pulls pictures and status updates from my different social media profiles, reminding me of what happened on the current date for the past few years.

For instance, 2 years ago today, I posted a short video of Avery and Ezra riding a longboard skateboard down the driveway. They were destined to be great friends.

3 years ago today, I posted a picture of my friend Adam Locker wearing a t-shirt that he had printed (by the way, Adam, do you still own that t-shirt business?) with my face on it, in preparation for Brookside SERVE week, that said, “Dr. Joe… My Homeboy.” That’s Ginger’s favorite t-shirt to this day. It was a great gift from a good friend.

TimeHop also gives participants random facts from general history that happened on this day. Today’s fact: Harrison Ford’s birthday. Hey Harrison, I love ya, AND you need to be careful when flying your airplanes. And, we know, it was the one-armed man.

TimeHop helps to animate memory. We have a difficult time remembering on our own. TimeHop works like the liturgical structure of the Church, reminding us of the days, feasts, seasons of our story. It helps us to interact with Scripture regularly and to introduce us of the faithful people that walked with Jesus before we joined the faith. The liturgical process is our sacramental small group that helps us live for Jesus today, as we think on our past.

TimeHop is also a mirror. It shows us “where we’ve been,” including the stinky times from our past. Remember that time when you went on a passionate rant about that one topic and how it sparked an ugly exchange between a few of your Facebook friends? Yeah, its good to be reminded about that so we don’t do it again, and so we can see how we’ve grown up a bit since then, hopefully. Growth happens in real-time, but is noticed in hindsight. God wants it that way, so we can’t claim to have authored much of it.

Our life is a “vapor” the book of James says. The image is of a young kid breathing on glass, drawing a picture in it, then watching it vanish. Memory helps us to be faithful to our story, to be honest about our need to grow up, and provide reasons to celebrate.

May we remember well.


Published by joeskillen

I'm a husband, dad of 2, Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS.

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