Could Facebook be a gift of the Holy Spirit to humanity? There are a lot of funny videos and emails circulating that make fun of the annoying aspects of the social networking site – but there is also something profoundly relational taking place with Facebook, and the Holy Spirit is all about relationship.

It’s not just Facebook, it’s all the social networking sites that allow people to connect and relate around the parts of their lives that inspire them: photography, music, movies, and even theology.

Think about it this way: for thousands of years most human beings lived their lives in relationship and connection to the same people. Living in tribes, villages, and small cities, most people developed deep, lasting relationships with their extended families and people their same age with whom they grew up, worked, lived, and even died together.

The Industrial Revolution and the mobility of modern society have changed all that. Most of us grew up with one group of people, went to school with another group, and have lived and worked with several different groups over the years since. In the midst of all that mobility we lost contact with almost everyone we knew except for our immediate family and, perhaps, one or two close friends.

Which do you think represents the Triune Life in which Jesus has included humanity: relationships that are maintained over years or relationships that last a little while and then vanish?

Here, at the dawn of the 21st century we find ourselves in a society of fragmented relationships, where people come together for a little while and then go their separate ways. In the midst of this relational fragmentation social networking on the internet has come along and suddenly we are reconnecting and entering once again into relationship with people who were once central to our lives.

We are reconnecting with best friends from high school, college classmates, and people we ministered with in other times and places.

For the first time in over 100 years it is now possible, through networks like Facebook, for people in our highly mobile society to stay in relationship with childhood friends and extended family for their entire lives. My kids may very well use social networking to keep many of their same friends for the next 70-80 years.

The Holy Spirit is the facilitator of relationships. He binds together the heart of the Father and Jesus – and his life of relationship has been poured out on the human race in Jesus (Acts 2:17).

On Facebook I see relationships being re-established, maintained, and even strengthened by the ingenious work of creative people. That leads me to think that I must be seeing the gift and ministry of the Holy Spirit expressed in our lives.

~ by Jonathan Stepp

1 comment so far

  1. John on

    Here! Here!

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