I’m a Christian, and sometimes a teacher/preacher.
This sermon looks at Pokemon-Go.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game. It’s played on phones, and mixes the real world with the digital world. In a way, it’s like a cross between geocaching and yelp, but with a scoring system.
To play Pokemon Go, first players must find Pokemon.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost (us). When he sent out his disciples, he gave them instructions on where they should look for their audience.
Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. He sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 10:1-7)
After finding some Pokemon, players choose which ones to keep.
Jesus chose all of us, while we were not worthy.
You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:16,19)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
To advance in the game, players train their Pokemon.
Spiritual training keeps us “in shape” as followers of Christ. Just like a physical muscle or skill, if we don’t exercise, we’ll lose strength.
The more frequently we’re kind to others, help those in need, study the scriptures, and pray, the better we’ll get at it. Then, in moments of stress, expressing the love of Christ will be second nature to us.
Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things — for both the present life and the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9:25)
In the Pokemon Go game, the creatures improve their abilities after enough training, and actually become a new creature.
In Christ, we also become new creations, after being born the second time.
He will change our weak mortal bodies into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power he will use to bring everything under his control. (Philippians 3:21)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (Romans 12:2)
What makes Pokemon Go different from other games is that it overlays the real world. To travel in the game, you must travel in real life.
For us to advance the gospel, we often must travel in real life. Christ’s last words to us before he ascended were:
Jesus said, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-19)
It’s hard to make disciples of all nations when we’re sitting on the couch. Going out, meeting people, making friends, helping others, trying new things… all of that leads to us building relationships. By following Christ ourselves and spending time with others, we can share God’s love and fulfill our purpose.
You can download the handout and a flyer for the sermon here.