I Corinthians 12: 12-31
`One of the complaints I hear most often (particularly from people in my generation, and older) is the way in which Social Media has destroyed the value of human relationships. The complaint goes on to lament the ways in which Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and others have dehumanized communications, and the resulting loss of true connection with others.
I’m sorry to disagree.
While technology has made it easier to communicate without showing your face to someone, I think one of its greatest benefits is in the way Social Media proves how much we are all connected as one humanity, and as children of God. Communication is now possible with anyone in the world at any time. When we move away or travel abroad, one has to be very intentional not to be in communication with home, job, friends and family. That is a big change from pre-internet experience.
However, I don’t want anyone to think that technology as created this connection as something new. Rather, tools like Facebook have made more obvious to us what has always been true – that we are indeed all uniquely designed individuals connected as one people.
St Paul uses the metaphor of the body as an image of what this means. The body is certainly an observable, connected, whole unit. We refer to the person in that body as one being – I, you, she, he, all indicate that we understand that the body is one. But because something is one unit, that does not mean it lacks complexity.
The body has many parts that act differently to support the function and purpose of the whole body. Eyes, ears, hands, feet, heart and brain all are very different from each other, but are generally useless apart from the one body which connects them.
So it is with God’s people. We are all individuals created by God to be different, but not to be disconnected. We are given individuality, not for selfish gain, as if we could live apart from the world, but for the purpose of remaining connected by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This Spiritual connection then should guide us in discerning how we use what is given to us. Natural resources are given to each for all. Wealth is given to each for all. Talents, skills, experiences and wisdom and given to each for all. Christ came to each for all.
So every time you post a message on Facebook, a photo on Instagram, or tweet what you ate for dinner, remind yourself that we are all connected, individuals created for the good of all.
Devotions for Week of January 24, 2016
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Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (GA) in New York City has been chosen as one of eight internship congregations to participate this year in a church-wide initiative designed to increase our understanding of Holy Scripture and most importantly, to cultivate our engagement with it. In partnership with The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Vicar John Heidgerd will be working to develop innovative ways to deepen our faith formation and sense of discipleship for the sake of ourselves and our communities.