Pastor’s Pen

I am the first to admit that I probably spend an overwhelming amount of my free time on social media. The scrolling reflex in my thumbs are quicker than a marksman’s index finger. I have realized that I often revert to social media to relive stress, combat anxiety and lurk the profiles of my unsuspecting family, friends and church members (only because I love you)! It has been a source of information (and misinformation), comedic relief, solemn reflection and righteous indignation. For the last decade, this technological phenomenon has reshaped the world and rendered a platform to everyone with a smart device and internet access. Social media has unearthed hidden talent and exposed common fools while opening a universal portal into the hearts and minds of everyone with an opinion. Further stated, some of this generations brightest moments and society’s darkest hours have been captured and delivered around the world. Even the crowned prince of fools cannot deny the magnanimous impact of social media on the world.

Last week as I perused at my leisure, I stumbled across a video sans audio. In the video, officers of the Denver Police Department were removing blankets from a small gathering of homeless people that were sitting along the sidewalk. As the blankets were revoked one by one, they were folded and neatly piled on top of each other while each person was exposed to the air of the unforgiving, Denver night. Without audio, it was impossible to definitively conclude the happenings of the troublesome scene. Some commenters contended that the officers could have been moving the group to a warmer climate; others suggested that the officers were mercilessly antagonizing harmless people who had no alternative for shelter. All things considered, it was most certainly difficult to clearly analyze the situation. However, as I gazed with an empathetic heart, the only thing I could discern is that there was a better way to honor the humanity in people that are different from us.

As we stand one week away from celebrating the most misunderstood gift in history, my prayer is that we grow to appreciate and value the humanity in one another. Everything in scripture can be reduced to the strength of one word: love. If love is not the ethic and compass that generates our individual actions, we fail to embrace the gift of God, the morale of Christ and the treasure in one another. As we descend upon Christmas Day, may we see the sacred value in those we love and even in those we do not understand. May the warmth of God’s love accompany every word and deed that you offer long after your last gift is unwrapped. Rejoice and be glad!