We live in a social media world. Sometimes that’s great - you can easily share photos of the kids, or find out quickly that someone else took a trip or has health problems or a new job.
Sometimes it’s not so great - only now are Facebook users finally understanding that all of that information about themselves that they’ve poured into the megagiant service has been compiled, groomed, sold and worse.
Personal privacy is becoming harder and harder to come by. George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 may be closer than we want to believe.
The way people communicate has changed so much in the last 20 years, even 10 years. Smartphones, tablets, texting, wearable devices, augmented reality, virtual reality, more.
The old days of picking up the phone to talk to someone seem so...old fashioned. It’s so old fashioned that perhaps our Amish neighbors will soon start getting phones. Ha ha ha....except, they already are...
And communications today have really changed. When you text it almost seems quaint to type out complete words. No, instead u LOL n BRB and on and on.
A popular item in today’s digital lexicon is the symbol #.
You older types remember # right? Some folks used to refer to that as the number sign - as in #3 means number three.
And others called # the pound sign. When calling someone there are actually still some services out there whose phone message says to hit the pound sign for a choice. How quaint.
For anyone under the age of 30 there is no number sign and there is no pound. They have no idea what that is.
Instead it’s the popular “hashtag,” a social media construction.
Hashtag? That comes from the ancient colonial Latin Sumerian from two words, hash and tag. Hash means a total mess. Tag of course is an old kids’ game.
Put the two together and it means a kids’ game that makes a total mess of things.
Sound like Washington to you? Yeah, me too.
Or oops, in recent times it now means #metoo, the avalanche of people (mostly women) who says they’ve been abused in various ways. Attach that hashtag to concerns or rants on your favorite social media site.
Lately we’ve had #neveragain, related to shootings at schools or public places. These have been terrible events that now have led to an avalanche on social media. Will it lead to any real change in our society? An interesting test on the power of new media.
So coming up this Sunday morning is the remembrance of the greatest event in human history, Easter. The. Greatest. Event. Ever.
Yes, the American Revolution was pretty big, but not this big. The first landings of men on the Moon was huge, but not this huge.
Perhaps we should follow recent trends and come up with catchy hashtags to go along with Easter and Holy Week. Some suggestions? And remember, no spaces between words...
How about #deliverance? The whole purpose of Jesus on Earth was to say to mankind that death is not the end, that there is so much more to life - if we only take it that far.
Or try #sacrificedforyou - here was the Son of God, the divine with us, who felt the need to give the ultimate sacrifice to the powers of evil in order to prove a point.
Maybe consider #Godconqueredsin - we say we believe that God rules all but do we actually believe that? It’s so easy to get distracted or wrapped up in the sins of life that we forget that the Lord rules all things...ALL things. Nothing is beyond His reach.
Then there’s #youaresaved - yes, you are. YOU are. Not just someone else, YOU. Christ’s victory over death and the cross means that anyone of faith who believes can be saved into an eternal future with Him. That’s a glorious prospect.
And for this Sunday but for every Sunday there’s #comebacktochurch. The idea that you can worship God on a golf course or at a race track or football game on Sundays is simply wrong.
While we believe individually, we also need “group therapy,” to join with other believers in remembering the inspirational stories of old (and new) and lift each other up in song and stories in praising Him and thanking Him for our many blessings.
So go ahead, make your postings on social media. Use the hashtags above. Let everyone know that this Easter Sunday isn’t just April Fools Day, hahaha.
Instead it’s the day that everything changed for each of us, for all of us. Needed now more than ever.
Hope to see you Sunday morning, 10:45. Come a little earlier to get your favorite seat.
And come even earlier to Grace Sunday and check out our Stations of the Cross exhibits created by your fellow believers. Great artwork to remember the Holy Week journey, made by common folk.
From George Churchgoer