First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the news about your faithfulness is being spread throughout the whole world. I serve God in my spirit by preaching the good news about God’s Son, and God is my witness that I continually mention you in all my prayers. I’m always asking that somehow, by God’s will, I might succeed in visiting you at last. I really want to see you to pass along some spiritual gift to you so that you can be strengthened. What I mean is that we can mutually encourage each other while I am with you. We can be encouraged by the faithfulness we find in each other, both your faithfulness and mine. Romans 1:8-12 CEB
A friend of mine, Neelley Hicks, executive director at Harper Hill Global, who does work in Africa but lives in Tennessee, posted on Facebook last week that prayer was needed for a 6-month old infant in the Congo who was suffering from malaria.
Within hours, people from all over the world were praying for this small child. She received responses from the Philippines, the United States, the rest of Africa and Europe.
There are many things wrong with social media nowadays. It tends to isolate people and has elevated taking pictures of one’s self to an art form. It can be very insular and closeted. Yet even mobs of bullies and trolls can form online and bring real hurt to people and events.
And yet …
In this instance, all that makes social media a risky endeavor makes it possible for large crowds of people to come together and pray for one small baby in the middle of the Congo.
While the problems remain, there are also bountiful opportunities to do good with the tools we have at hand. As much as social media can try to affect national opinions, it can also be used to start a revolution against oppression.
The prayers and instruction that took Paul hours to write and days to send to the various congregations he founded and watched over would take now but a second to be sent all over the world to every Christian with a cellphone. Imagine the Apostle Paul with a Twitter account?!
Social media is a tool that we, as the church, can and does use to spread the gospel story of our Messiah. It allows us to tell the story of Christ to all who would listen. It allows us to “write” our own “good news” about our relationship with God and to share in the opportunities and responsibilities of that telling.
BTW, after only 2 weeks, the baby is out of her coma and doing much better! Praise be to God!
Dear God, You are the great Architect. Help us to use wisely all You have brought to life. Endow the tools we have to be filled with Your Holy Spirit and used to share Your love. Amen.