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Communion Message: Google Searches PDF

Communion Messages: Google Searches


The Google search box has become the new oracle for many of us, the thing we consult before all major undertakings. How do I know this?

Through Google Suggest, of course. For those who don't know how Suggest works, this sums it up nicely:

Google Suggest is, essentially, a list of the most popular queries that start with a given prefix, generated from recent search activity. A suggestion-enabled search is like an instant popularity contest. Just type in a couple of letters, and you've got access to oodles of data on what your fellow Web surfers are hunting for.

Google Suggest is a helpful feature. It's a little sliver of the collective mind. It's also a lot of fun to mess with.

However, the internet has lots of great examples of misfires served by Google. For example, if you type in "I am extremely", amongst other suggestions, you will find, "I am extremely terrified of Chinese people." But one thing I did find very interesting, was an article which uses Google for some armchair sociolinguistic analysis. The graphic compares "less intelligent" queries with "more intelligent" queries, such as "how 2" with "how might one."

Typing in 'how 2' will get results like:

    How 2 unlock

    How 2 kiss

    How 2 get pregnant

    How 2 hack a myspace

    How 2 get a six pack

    How 2 grow weed

    How 2 make a website

    How 2 unblock sites

    How 2 hide friends on myspace

    How 2 tie a tie

But if you type in 'how might one', instead of "how 2", here are some Google suggestions:

    How might one account for the rise of Andrew Jackson to the victory in the election of 1828

    How might one correct the ph of a lake with a reading of 3

    How might one protein differ from another

    How might one discover a new piece of music

    How might one expand upon an argument

    How might one test if beak size is due to genetic or environmental factors

    How might one treat poisoning from curare

You can spend entire afternoons duplicating this experiment. If you type in 'what is up with', you might find some suggestions like:

    What is up with Jon and Kate

    What is up with Joaquin Phoenix

    What is up with Jermaine Jackson's hair

    What is up with facebook

    What is up with seal's face

    What is up with Kate Gosselin's hair

    What is up with hotmail

    What is up with Jon and Kate Gosselin

    What is up with north korea

But if you type in "how is it that", Google suggests:

    How is it that some bacteria live in the hot springs of Yellowstone park

    How is it that satellites can detect differences in primary productivity on earth

    How is it that all computers can communicate via email

    How is it that a continent should be ruled by an island

Grammar also seems to make a difference.

Try typing "you is" and you get:

    You is trolling

    You is a jerk

    You is what you is

    You is my girlfriend

    You is my hot rabbit

    You is a pronoun

But if you type "you are", you get:

    You are not alone lyrics

    You are my sunshine lyrics

    You are what you eat

    You are so beautiful lyrics

Perhaps "less intelligent" vs. "more intelligent" isn't the kindest or most accurate way to classify these queries. Some of the "more intelligent" queries are clearly high-schoolers desperately trying to get their homework done. And some of the "less intelligent" queries are no doubt very smart people distracting themselves with Google in an idle moment.

But thinking about this, I realised that this is not that far removed from the meaning of communion. That God, sending His only Son to remove our sin by dying for us, has made a search function available to us - a direct line between us and God.

Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Matthew 26:26-28: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." (27) Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. (28) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Let's take a moment to remember why we are celebrating communion this morning.

Let's eat and drink.