by Sean Ashberry
I love Facebook. It is not the future of our society. It is very much the present. It is people sharing the randomness of their lives with others who for strange reasons are not only interested, but reciprocate.
And although I do not spend as much time on the site as others do, I am able to receive and send status updates via my cellphone. I do look forward to Mike’s poetic waxing or Tressa’s Farmville futures or Sandy’s Mafia hits.
And then there’s the Bejewled racket. You girls know who you are!
It is exciting when I open my Facebook page and find a message directed only to me. Someone was thinking about me.
Or like the other day when I looked on my page and there it was in the margin: “1 Friend Request.” Who could it be? Do I know them? Or did they find me through someone else’s page?
One fabulous thing about Facebook is that you can connect with people you have never met through the life of a mutual friend. They have requested to be my friend and a new relationship has formed simply because of a connection we shared.
Some people make it a challenge to see how many “Friends” they can acquire. Even if they never communicate again, their page still shows “1,264 Friends!”
But the thing about a friend request is that you can either accept it or reject it. It’s your choice.
Abraham is referred to as a “friend of God,” several times throughout the Bible. The word used in those instances refers to “loving dearly.” That relationship began because God sent him a friend request and Abraham accepted it.
Then through the life of Abraham, God’s invitation for friendship was carried to a nation of people. Some accepted it and some rejected it.
When Jesus came, he reiterated the request for friendship, when he asked Peter whether or not he “loved” him. The same root word meaning “loving dearly” described God’s relationship with Abraham. Jesus said if Peter loved him, he would feed Jesus’ sheep.
Being a friend to Jesus means more than adding him to your friend counter. It is deeper and broader than randomly sharing the message of Christ. Accepting a friend request from Jesus means connecting people to him through your life — a mutual friendship.
Facebook has found its niche in my life, and because of it many others have found me. May Christ say the same of me.
Christ is not the future of our society. He is very much the present. We may accept it or reject it.
Sean is the Involvement and Outreach Minister with the Somers Avenue congregation in North Little Rock, Ark.