The topic of Social Media seems to lately be a subject covered by several news commentators. The remarks speak to the abuse of Social Media to promote biased viewpoints and go as far as peddling fabrications disguised as ground breaking news. Social media has also been used as a career enabling tool. I heard the term “twitter currency” used in reference to an artist using Social Media to promote himself by protesting something that it was likely he really cared little about. The observation by a commentator was that the protest, which took the form of not participating in some concert, did not really cost the artist anything but being part of the protest increased his “twitter currency” which helped his career more than the concert could.
However, it’s not all so dark and cynical. Sometimes, Social Media will provide some encouragement through the sharing of an inspiring story; pull on our heart strings by sharing images of children, puppies or kittens; or even provide exhortation to our faith through an inspirational thought. Social Media has also yielded some interesting tidbits of wisdom to contemplate. Some of these tidbits may seem a bit unorthodox. For example, I saw a Facebook post of a chimp saying something along the lines of “I figured out how to save a lot of money on Christmas presents. I bring up politics at the Thanksgiving family dinner”. That may seem like a cynical thing to say but for those of us on a tight Christmas budget, it may be something to consider. It would require that we prioritize some things like family relationships verses our wallets.
I suspect that as some read the words “Thanksgiving family dinner”, instead of hearts singing a joyful song, they made a woeful groan. The question “who’s coming to dinner?” can be asked in gleeful anticipation or gloomy dread. For some, Family Thanksgiving dinner is a joy, for others a duty.
Having enough years under my belt to have experienced a wide array of these dinners, and the emotions that accompany them, I have learned that my attitude towards them is the main contributor to my enjoyment or lack thereof. When I focus on the things that unite us such as family, history, common dreams and goals, then my time around family members, even if we don’t agree on everything makes for an enjoyable time. However, if my primary focus is on our differences, and the negative things in our past, then even my favorite dishes seem to lose their appeal and there is an oppressive air through the entire evening.
I have also come to the conclusion that the same happens in our church family gatherings on Sunday mornings. If we come to church focusing on our differences, and the things we may not like about each other, the entire morning is tainted regardless of how many songs of praise are sung, how moving our communion mediations may be, or how challenging the message that is delivered. But when we focus on what unites us which is the shed blood of Christ; our history as a local congregation; and our common goals which are participation in and expansion of His kingdom; as well as our common dreams which are to each day grow in Him and to reflect His love to others, then our time together is something we look forward to and something that motivates us to do our utmost to be there on Sunday morning. When we manage a positive focus, Sunday morning is not about “I have to go to church” but “I get to go to church”. What comes to mind when we achieve this are the words of David in Psalm 133: [Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessings, life forevermore.](ESV)
I pray that all of us look forward to our Sundays like the joyful anticipation of a loved family Thanksgiving dinner.
Have a blessed November,
From the Corner
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