Did you know the computer keyboard has a name?

Did you know the computer keyboard (previously the typewriter) has a name?

According to Wikipedia, QWERTY gets its name from the top left row of lettered keys. Who knew? The letter design on the keyboard was developed for the 1878 (yes, 1878) Remington No. 2 typewriter. Why is the keyboard still the same after all these decades? Wikipedia claims it’s because of “inertia the difficulty of learning a layout that differs from the currently entrenched standard.”

In economics and social sciences, this same concept is called “path dependence.” Path dependence explains how the decisions someone can make is limited by the decisions that have been made in the past. Even though past circumstances may no longer apply, an incidence in history can lead to something being so entrenched in a culture that change is improbable. The QWERTY keyboard is the most commonly cited example of this. It was the first keyboard format and is now universally used no new format has superseded it. Path dependence explains the power of “we have always done it this way.”

The letter to the Ephesians describes how the risen Christ broke the power of path dependence as it played out in faith. History birth, law, commandments and ordinances had set up the house of Israel as the only true people of God. It seemed Gentiles would always be estranged from God, but through Christ the extraordinary happens and God’s family is broadened and extended to include everyone from every cultural back-ground.

The church is called to be an extraordinary place, a place of inclusion and reconciliation, where divisions are demolished, strangers become family, aliens become citizens, a place where the excluded and disenfranchised are welcome. That’s a tough call. But through the redeeming love of Christ and the powerful reconciling spirit of God this is possible. Join me in considering how we might continue to tap into the love of Christ and the power of the Spirit so that we might become dwelling places of reconciliation.

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