“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” #SelfSong
Maybe it’s a good thing Walt Whitman didn’t have Twitter, or maybe the world would be the richer if he had. I don’t know. Maybe if the disciples had Instagram (“Here’s a picture of our supper with Jesus. That’s Judas dipping his bread.”), all doubts would be resolved … or multiplied. And if Facebook had been around post-exodus?—“Share if you believe the Lord your God is one. Keep scrolling if you don’t.”—would God have been served any more faithfully? Is more communication always better information?
These days it can seem that every opinion is worth shouting; every moment is historic; and every wound, no matter how gruesome, is worth posting (#pleasesparemeyourinfectedtoe). My thoughts, observations, and bad toe must be important because, you know, they’re mine.
I have bemoaned this hyper-connected (or is it pseudo-) age of abbreviated thought, even as I have dabbled in it. Are we creating a nation of attention-deficit narcissists? Studies have suggested as much. Or are we creating a new worldwide community no regime can silence? Studies have suggested as much. And what does it all mean for the church? Oodles of people are studying that even as I write.
This is our age, and these are our questions. But what really has changed?
The human spirit strains to see beyond the stars and lingers over the beauty of a blade of grass. The human heart aches with longing and strains to sing the inexpressible. And in and through it all, every generation has its voices—its poets and philosophers, its preachers and politicians and jesters—speaking through whatever media are available. And there, whispering, shouting, a part of every age and apart from it, is the divine whisper, speaking grace, seeking our voices to make known the eternal.
Every generation is the same in its seeking and its self-importance. Whether the “Greatest Generation,” Boomers, or today’s much-scrutinized Millennials, we take our turn upon the pinnacle, the most amazing generation ever to be, until our children knock us off. #howsyourretirementfund
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” #AllVanity
What has changed? In this age of the selfie, it is still the self that puzzles us. Who is this self called me? Who am I among all those other selves. And what will I make of my self in the time I have?
Every Sunday in our church, generations gather. Do we understand each other across our eras? Maybe, maybe not. But for all our differences, there is something true and wonderful that makes us more than a collection of selves. It is the eternal Word, whose purity of truth is for every generation. It is the salvation we seek and the Savior who seeks us. It is the Spirit who knits us together and makes of all our selves something powerful, holy, even selfless. As Whitman said, “for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” #BodyofChrist #peculiarpeople #miracle #giftstoeachotherandfortheworld #kingdomofGod #placeforall #graceupongrace #generationtogeneration #HMUMC
Rev. Mark Westmoreland
Author: Jenn Harris
“I am dedicated to helping our church communicate the love of Jesus Christ, and passionate about helping people connect with others and our amazing God.”