One of my favorite pastimes is watching movies. I enjoy them all, from comedies to thrillers about organized crime to bio pics, I really appreciate a good film and even some of the bad ones. Movies have been just one of the many silver linings I’ve had during this time of quarantine (realizing I make can make some amazing shrimp tacos is another).
The other night I was scrolling through Netflix and I stumbled upon the movie God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness. Disclaimer: if you like those cheesy Hallmark Channel movies you’ll probably like this one; basically, this movie is not getting an academy award any time soon. Though the film critic in me poked a lot of holes, I couldn’t deny that the message of the movie really resonated with me: as Christians we’re called to love everyone. When the world hits us we’re to respond with grace, the way God responds to us every day.
We are supposed to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, sounds obvious. What might not be obvious is how we do that during this intense and unique time. How do we love our neighbors and respond with grace in a time of social distancing? In my opinion I think that starts online. If it wasn’t the case before it definitely is now, our social lives rely heavily on the internet.
Our social media platforms can be used as tool to either unite or divide our community. Right now, emotions are high and there’s not really an end in sight. The easiest way we can give into our frustrations is by expressing them online, and because we’re all individuals with different opinions and experiences, other people’s posts and responses can often fuel our frustrations.
Last week I issued a challenge to our college students: before you hit post on anything think “is this going to unite or divide?” I want to issue the same challenge to you, church family. Every time we hit send, post, or retweet think: is this going to spread Christ’s love and grace or is this going to fuel frustrations? God has gifted us the opportunity to love our community in new ways that have a broader reach, let’s do it!
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” —Luke 6: 27-28