Jesus, Social Media and The New Marketplace

This weekend at Washington Cathedral, we begin a new teaching series called “Trending”, where over the next few weeks, we will discuss trending cultural topics, explore how they influence our faith and what the Bible teaches us about them.

I’m really excited to jump into the series this weekend with a message called “Digital Divide: When Our Faith Collides with Social Media”!

When preparing for this message, I couldn’t help but first wonder…would Jesus have used Facebook, or Twitter? Assuming these online platforms would have been available to him, I think the answer would be yes.

Why do I believe this?

Of Jesus’s 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables, with 45 of them having a marketplace context.

Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. Today…social media is the modern-day marketplace. In fact, on Facebook alone, there are currently 1 billion active accounts being used every day.

Just as in the marketplace spaces in the days of Jesus, people from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.

But as we know…not everything about the internet or social media is beneficial. The number of friends, followers and likes you have don’t always equate to real life friends and relationships. It can be deceiving and sometimes be very hard to represent Jesus when those political and theological discussions are taking place. [preaching to myself here]

Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to teach us about authentic relationships, being a witness, guarding our hearts and wise living. All of these can guide us into using social media in healthy, Christ honoring ways.

I hope you’ll join us this weekend and hear more about the trending topic of social media use and how our faith can influence it in positive ways!

Speaking of social media…are you following Washington Cathedral on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  We’d love to connect with you there!

Grace and Peace.

Rex

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