If the historical Nativity happened today, it may go like this. (Thanks to my friend, Russ, for the heads up on it)
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Sitting in St. Peter’s church here in London in a Social Media bootcamp for people who care about the voice of the church and how it may be used as a relevant platform for that voice. Dave Merwin has a brilliant mind and a heart for his world and shared his insights with us this morning. Perhaps no other issue challenges to live out the postmodern ministry cliche of “ancient-future” more than this. Is this what the church should be moving toward? Or is this something the church should counter-cultrually transcend and go against? I have a gut-feeling towards both.One of the statements from a gentleman giving a question from the audience said something like, “Jesus would not be personally branding himself if he were here today.” While, I agree, Jesus was quite counter-cutural as well as unassuming in his recorded social interactions. But I am also not sure that he didn’t engage in the kind of information clarification of his day. In particular, the way he was very strategic and careful about the title the general populace referred to him as. Was he the “one”? Was he the “messiah”? Was he the “revolutionary”? Was he a “prophet”? Was he coming to be “King of the Jews”? Jesus care about how he was perceived, over and over again, unassuming as he was, he spoke into these perceptions and argued for his space to clarify. He “branded” himself with the title “Son of man”. He wanted to show that his power was to serve, not to dominate. He wanted to communicate that he was a different kind of “Lord” than Caesar. Others wanted to brand him with their perceptions, “friend of sinners”, “a new kind of teacher”, “blasphemer”, “greater than Moses”, “magician” etc. In his interactions, I observe Jesus branding himself to bring clarity to his person and purpose. His attempts were to brand himself for clarity and for purpose.The other side of social media is the manic nature of constant noise and exponential interactions. It is quiet easy to ask the questions of humility, purpose, busyness, participation with the world’s rythymns, a panic pace, relationship with stuff over people, an inherent narcissism where the world is revolving around me and frankly just too much output where there is not quality, just quantity. Earlier I tweeted a bit of this quote from Henri Nouwen:
“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure”
Should we be putting out more noise, or should we be teaching contemplation? Should we participate with the stuff of busyness, or should we show an alternative way? A way grounded in the experience of the communion with the Spirit of God in solitude and reflection, instead of noise and manic. These are my questions.
No real answers, just asking the questions. 🙂
It was not a strong year for commercials in my opinion, but Betty White talking trash will warm my heart every time. As well, congrats to the Saints. It took hurricane winds to tear down the city, but a “cool Brees” to pick it back up.
Now on to March Madness.
All credit to Brant Hansen on this. Who, by the way has a great blog if you need to laugh, then stop and think, and then laugh again. It’s truly genius.I really wish this was true cuz it would be like . . . AWESOME!Having done some time in catholic school growing up, something like this to help me practice at home might have kept me from being dragged to the principal’s office by my ear on a few occasions.