Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Word Becoming Flesh

My birthday was last week. I love birthdays...I mean, I LOVE THEM. Needless to say when I realized that my birthday fell during lent and I had already resolved to delete my facebook, I was devastated. NO ONE WILL REMEMBER MY BIRTHDAY!

For my birthday I ended up getting 3 cards, 1 email, 2 phone calls (This does not include immediate family which added a few more) and 10 text messages.

This is not to say that I had a bad birthday, it was very nice and those who contacted me made it very special, but I wanted to break that down because my last birthday I got 40+ birthday message on my facebook wall (with minimal phone calls no cards and no texts). This year, without facebook, there were 15 people who wished me a happy birthday and 75% of them still resorted to a text based communication. I find this so fascinating! And I also relate to it so well.

I used facebook as my primary means of communication. And now that I have given it up, I have to actually WORK in my relationships now. I have to make time to cultivate my friendships. Before lent I was completely satisfied with reading others facebook posts and commenting on them, almost as my sole means of communicating with them. See, I am a very busy person. I work 3 jobs and my husband is a youth pastor and I am highly involved with his ministry as well. It was easier and more efficient to send a text and a comment. But at what cost? I have lost the value of sitting together, sharing our hearts and lives with one another.

It really makes me think about how we choose to communicate and how that can impact the message of what we are saying (and how that communication deepens or widens our personal relationships).

The other night I was watching a video series at a Bible study and we heard the story about a man who had a hard time expressing his feelings of love to his son, so he wrote them in a letter. The commentator called this act "word becoming flesh" they did not just stay inside someone's head or heart, they were spoken. And the farther we get from internet/text based "words" the more precious those words are. The closer we get to real face to face communication, the more vulnerable we are, and the more vulnerable we are, the better we can be God's love to those around us, and receive that love back.

Note on my wall at facebook - Text message - Phone call - Letter in the mail - Going out for coffee.......I'd much rather give/receive the last 3 means of communication...but it seems like they have become an obsolete means of communication.

Shane Hipps, author of "Flickering Pixels" and teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Church says this about relationships and facebook:

"The narcissism created by these technologies [facebook] is unique. It encourages not just self-absorption, but, more accurately, self-consumption. We become creators and consumers of our own brand. We become enamored by a particular kind of self, a pseudo-self.....This heavily edited and carefully controlled self easily hides certain parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. This is hardly new, of course. In any social situation, we seek to control the impression we give. The problem is that in real social settings, there are limits to what we can hide. At a certain point, people intuitively see through us. Eventually they get a sense of who we really are. And in this way, real friendships can function as a healthy mirror. They become an honest mirror that loves but doesn’t flatter us."

This kind of real face to face communication is so vital for us to grow and feel and live. So vitally important for us to become deeper followers of Jesus Christ.

Let us remember: God did not shout from the heavens "I love you my children, you are free from the curse." No, God sent Jesus. A real live man who loved his enemies, ate with the poor, physically died for us, and then miraculously rose from the dead. It's as real flesh and blood as you can get. God did not just speak it. He loved us too much for that. This is what we are celebrating on Easter: God became flesh and blood and died a flesh and blood kind of death and then defeated that death so that we could be face to face with God and His kingdom.

So as we continue through lent, may we act out our relationships in the fleshiest kind of ways.

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

No comments: