The book “Songs of the Deliverer” tells the story of Christ re-imagined in modern day. The book is a work of fiction but the stories and characters are based on the New Testament. These Reflections are written to highlight the Biblical pericopes featured in the second book of the series, Faith Wins, to be published in 2016.
Referenced in Chapter 16
How do you communicate? Most people use email, many send texts from their smartphones. Of course, there’s Twitter and other social media platforms. Some people use Youtube to give video messages. There are people who still write or type letters on paper. But judging from my empty home mailbox, these occur less and less. Among the growing types of media we use to communicate, there is one common denominator: words.
Words are how we share information and deliver messages. When God decided to send His Son to the world, it was so Jesus would deliver the message of eternal life to all people. And that message was to be delivered in words. Which is why the Apostle John begins his Gospel with:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
When Paul conducted his ministry for Christianity, he did it in through the medium of his day: conversation, public speeches, and in letters. In fact, much of the New Testament are letters he wrote. Those words written in ink on papyrus have endured time and serve as the foundation of our Christian faith.
One of Paul’s earliest letters, perhaps his inaugural composition, was to the people of Thessalonia in Greece. (He later wrote a second later to them and so these are known as “First Thessalonians” and “Second Thessalonians.”) What would it be like if Paul used the media of today to communicate his message to the Thessalonians? Possibly, instead of beginning his epistle in the Gospel with, “Brothers and Sisters” he would start an email with, “Friends.” Then that email would share the deep gratitude he has for those who believe in Jesus Christ:
“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
And continuing, Paul’s email would tell the people that they are dear in God’s sight:
“For we know, beloved by God, that he has chosen you.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
Perhaps Paul would periodically send us a text of praise:
“You are our glory and joy! (1 Thessalonians 2:20)
Or maybe he would send a group text:
“You are all children of light! (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
If he had a Twitter account, he would have wonderful tweets to share with all of his followers (from 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – 21:
“Encourage the fainthearted.”
“Help the weak.”
“See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.”
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”
“Test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
And for those people who followed his teaching in the wake of oppression, I can imagine Paul producing a video message of him with his arms spread wide in embrace of the faithful:
“We boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. (2 Thessalonians 5:4)
Regardless of the form of media used, the abiding truth of Christian faith remains the same. And this is the truth Paul wrote to the Christians he encountered then, and to the Christians he encounters now:
“The love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 5:3)
Love one another.
The social media message for all time.
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