by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          May 17, 2018

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”-Luke 12:7

Public Service Announcement: 

You are worth infinitely more than the amount of “likes” your picture/post receives on Instagram, or Facebook, or some other social media platform on a glorified calculator.  It might sound like common sense but I think we forget this sometimes.  A wise quote from children’s book author Roald Dahl that appeared on a birthday card for me this year offered some wisdom.   “Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets and magic is always hidden in the most unlikely places.”  In a time when so many of us have become glued to our phones and accustomed to self-reporting our actions, thoughts, ideas, perspectives, and personal updates to the ether world of the internet, it benefits us to remember to pause and see the world around us in this way.  It helps to remember to see the people around us, and the immediate life present to us, with wonder and appreciation, with open eyes, and full attention.

When Rev. Chris Davies was visiting our church she offered several workshops on the topic of church vitality.  As part of one of her workshops she explained the innovative ways social media and the internet can be used to develop and expand ministry possibilities.  I must say that my cantankerous inner-Luddite convulsed at some of the ideas, but I could also appreciate the great possibilities she was inviting us to explore that social media can offer.  Rev. Chris reminded us that, “Social media is not all bad.  Social media is merely a tool.”  Here is a question I think we all can benefit from asking ourselves.

“Is social media using me, or am I using social media?” 

A sign that social media might be using us, and that we might have stopped using “it,” is if we find ourselves measuring our own or others’ worth based on how many “likes” a picture or post receives.  We know we stopped using social media and social media has started to use us when we judge the quality of our own lives by comparing them to the photo-shopped curated photos of other people.  Unfortunately, I think that measuring ones’ value in this way has become a common trend in our culture at the present time, for everyone.  But our faith is grounded in the truth that we are enveloped and held at all times in an infinite Presence of Life that loves us beyond our wildest imagination.  Indeed, Jesus says to us in the gospel of Luke, “the very hairs of your head are counted.”  We are reminded to not be afraid because we are, “worth more than many sparrows…”  And I imagine Jesus really loved the sparrows a LOT if that’s any indication on how much we are loved by God.   We fulfill our purpose when we simply allow ourselves to take time to remember this love.  We are able to be at peace and live and love well when we take the time for ourselves and the people around us, to remember. If you are having trouble remembering this, I invite you to turn off your phone and/or your TV for a day and pause to remember.

We don’t have to compare ourselves to anyone or anything.  We are loved.  How do you “like” that?  There are more synaptic connections in your brain than stars in the universe!  How could any of us simply “like” that?  In all of eternity, there is only one of you!  How do you, “like” that?  This moment in your life is pregnant with infinite creative potential!  You can fill it with building something new, a dance, a visit to a friend, a cup of tea, a book, a new symphony, a new painting, skipping rocks on a river, holding hands with a friend, forgiving someone, mending something broken, breaking a habit, flying a kite, visiting an elder, caring for a child, talking to your dog!  The possibilities are endless and YOU get to choose what to do with your wild and precious life because it has been given to you by a Creative Power of infinite love.  That God calls you by your name and numbers the hairs on your head (or lack thereof.)  How do you “like” that?   I admit, I post things on social media too, but I want to offer us all an invitation…  The next time you go to text someone or self-report on social media, offer the person in front of you or sitting next to you all the loving attention you have to offer.  The next time you go to post something on social media, remember that even if it gets 9,999,999 “likes,” that God loves you infinitely more still.  So remember to sing to the Lord a new song.  Don’t worry about who likes it or doesn’t like it.  God will LOVE it today and forever.

This Public Service announcement was brought to you by the gospel of Luke.