In this age of social media and electronic communication, many people (such as I) have used cyber space as a tool to share their faith. Take a look at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and you’ll see what I mean. The fact you are reading this only serves to further make my point. Thanks to technology we can share our faith with others and not even leave the comfort of our living room. To be honest this makes me just a bit sad.
Think about it. How many times have you hit a like button on Facebook because someone posted a picture of a “God moment” with a caption that tugged at your heart strings? How many times did you share that picture with those on your friends list? This sort of sharing has become part of our day and so also part of our proclamation of the gospel. But are we really sharing our faith when we do this? Are we reaching out to those who have not heard the good news of Christ Jesus in such a way that they too might come to believe? I doubt it.
Sharing pictures is one thing, sharing faith is quite another. Sharing faith takes place first and foremost in personal encounters. Sharing faith is being a present reality in someone’s life. It involves not only the exchange of words, but the exchange of expression, tone and sometimes yes even touch. Sharing faith is more than spending a few fleeting seconds deciding who might need a lift for the moment. Sharing faith is giving of yourself, establishing new relationships in Christ and becoming a part of the lives of those who either don’t know or have forgotten that they need a savior.
Sadly, as we learn to communicate more via social media, we actually become less social creatures. The landscape is dotted with people living at their fingertips as they hunt and peck away staring at tiny screens oblivious to the world around them. Don’t get me wrong, I think our means of electronic communication serve us in many ways, but as we increasingly fix our gaze at the transmitted word, we are less likely to help transform others through communication of God’s living Word.
Just like Peter and John in the book of Acts, we are witness to the power of proclamation through being a present reality in the lives of others. These two men, perceived to be uneducated, are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and boldly speak the truth of God’s salvation through Christ Jesus. They are a present reality in the lives of others, exchanging spoken words, gestures, expression and yes even touch. Their witness is such that even those who oppose them cannot deny that God is doing a great work through them. This is what sharing faith looks like.
You don’t have to be like Peter and John standing in the midst of the temple in order to share faith. You don’t have to lay hands on someone who cannot walk and command them to take of their mat and go home in order to boldly proclaim God’s salvation through Christ crucified and risen. You need only to be present in someone’s life and tell them the truth of God’s unfailing love. Sharing a picture on Facebook is nice, but sharing faith is most certainly something else.
As God’s children, brought to faith through the waters of Holy Baptism and saved through the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus, we are called to share this amazing gift of grace with the world. It’s okay to click and share through social media and to tug at the heartstrings of others, but sharing faith cannot stop there. Be a present reality in the lives of others. Exchange spoken words, expressions, tone and yes even touch. Invite others to worship so that they too may come and see the good things of God. For we are witnesses to the events of the cross and the empty tomb, therefore we cannot help but speak the name of Jesus Christ.