A Facebook Faith

There probably isn’t a day which goes by, that when I look at Facebook, that I see someone asking me to repost a picture of Jesus.  Usually there is a time warning such as in the next 10 minutes.  In addition, I should post it if I am not ashamed of Jesus.  And sometimes tagged on the end is that I will receive some kind of blessing. I have to admit that I do not repost Jesus’ posts.  One reason is that I don’t believe God looks at Facebook to see if I am living a life that is ashamed of Jesus.  Another reason is that posting a picture of Jesus may be the easy way out. Following Jesus involves more than clicking a key on my computer.

I think God is probably more concerned with how we live out our lives when we are not staring at a computer screen.  In the Gospels, Jesus did speak about being ashamed of him.  In Luke 9:26 Jesus says, “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  How do we shame Jesus?

We shame Jesus when we live our lives unconcerned about those around us who are suffering, broken, and hurting.  When we close our eyes to the needs of others, we shame our Lord.  Facebook posts are easy.  However, posting yourself in the midst of those who suffer by standing alongside the least of these demonstrates a life that is not ashamed of Jesus.  In the clearest account in the Gospels of the final judgement Jesus states,

 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’   (Matthew 25: 31-46)

If we truly want to demonstrate our devotion, then we will love the world the way that Jesus did.  We will sacrifice for others.  We will be last rather than first.  We will identify with those whom society would assume to forget:  the hungry, the stranger, the naked, the sick, those in prison.   Jesus lived his life on the margins of society embracing the untouchables with love, mercy, and acceptance.

I doubt at the final judgment that Jesus is going to be too concerned with how many times we reposted a picture of him and challenged others to like and comment. Instead of Facebook, Jesus is going to be more interested in how we looked at the faces around us.  Did we see Jesus in the least of these?  Did we sacrificially give to others?  Did we welcome everyone to our table or only the right kind of people? There could be no greater damnation that hearing Jesus say to us, “I never knew you.”

I pray every day that I will live the kind of life that pleases God and brings glory to God.  I don’t always get it right.  But every day I am given the opportunity to stop being concerned about my post on Facebook and instead offering God’s love and grace to the faces around me.

 

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