I read an article in Relevant magazine revealing that in 2019, all but one of the most popular 20 Facebook pages for American Christians were actually created by overseas bot farms in order to spread misinformation and steal personal data. The groups had nostalgic and sentimental names like ‘smile and shine,’ ‘be happy and enjoy life,’ ‘blessing,’ and ‘light a candle for lost loved ones.’
What this reveals to me is not a problem with an internet platform, but a problem with the Church. When we believe we’re called to build our life in Christ around privilege and pleasure, we make ourselves ripe for exploitation and abuse. The folks building those fake platforms know us better than we know ourselves–they knew just what to promise to make us click ‘follow.’
I didn’t see any fake platforms named ‘Dying to Self,’ ‘How to Serve with Humility and Grace,’ or ‘finding the strength to bless & serve our enemies.’ But that’s what the gospel story is about–Jesus didn’t come to be blessed and served–he came to seek and save and serve the lost and wounded. That is the narrow way Jesus opens to us, and it is still the only path to abundant life and salvation.
I hope you’ll join me for worship on Sunday as we look at the beautiful and astonishing story of those who served the Aramean general Naaman. Here we find the rare story of sons and daughters of Israel who understood and embodied God’s covenant with Abraham, especially one little girl whose name is unknown to us who prefigures Christ himself. Come to be inspired, come to be challenged, come to behold the awe-ful way we are called to serve one another as Jesus serves us.