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November 1, 2018, 12:00 AM

My Two Cents


So, what do you think? Would Jesus be on Social Media?

He would have tons of followers were he to choose to post; regularly liked and retweeted. Can’t you imagine the video meme going viral? The one of a lonely widow dropping a coin into the money box unnoticed by all the big givers wearing their phylacteries and fringes? Caption anyone?

Or what about the way Jesus had of turning a phrase? “You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemies. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Attached is a GIF of a Roman Centurion emerging from the Jordan River baptized, while Peter holds his helmet.

Jesus caused quite a stir without social media. Imagine his message being only a click away.

On the other hand…

I’m not sure Jesus would have been too big on selfies. While he had a way with words, the gospels suggest that he didn’t rant too often. His best work was done in rather quiet out of the way places. And it only took him seven words to change the course of history.

As Forrest Gump would say, “I’m not sure about all of that.” But what is clear to me is that the saving work of the Gospel is more about what we do than what we say- or what we post.

While angry (mostly white) men work themselves into a lather on a Saturday morning over what they are watching on their screens, gentle peace-loving men and women quietly gather to worship their God and take comfort in the Sabbath. While a sleep deprived president gives in to his early morning paranoia and goes for his phone to launch hateful words into an already charged atmosphere, a 75 year old lifelong Republican is off to the bakery to load up his minivan with day-old loaves of bread that will soon find their way into lunchboxes all over the city.

This isn’t a rant about Social Media. I enjoy my birthday wishes way too much go to there. It is a blessed thing to be connected with people we don’t often get to see.

But it does occur to me that there is a purity to acts of justice done while no one is watching, including the web. And the last thing Jesus would want would be for his followers to be absorbed in their screens while the world around them is falling apart.

Those who follow Jesus are called to do justice, love kindness, walk humbly and leave the rest to God. In the meantime let those of us on either side of the aisle who are particularly troubled by this president’s words not despair. Some of God’s best work has been done with less than stellar leaders in power. Just ask Pharaoh Ramses, Kings Saul and Nebuchadnezzar, and Pontius Pilate. They were no match for the grace of God.

Now more than ever, Shalom,

Rick

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