Saturday, March 29, 2014

Morning Psalms: 87, 90 | Evening Psalm: 136
Genesis 47:27—48:7 | 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 | Mark 7:1-23
I don’t wash my hand ritualistically. I mean, I wash my hands. I’d consider my hands decently clean most of the time. That’s not the ritual that trips me up.
For me, it’s Facebook.
I check it before bed. I check it before getting out of bed. I check it after walking out of a meeting. And I have an alert on my phone that is set to show me when certain people have updated, or when people have liked a status.
I have to fully admit that I have an idolatrous relationship with social media. I tried giving up Facebook for Lent a few years ago, but found that it was really hard on my work life. Students would update things and I wouldn’t find out until days later and felt like I had failed them as their youth director.
This was the lie I was comfortable believing.
Deep down, really, the reason I don’t give up Facebook is because I have an idolatrous relationship with myself. I need to know that you think I am clever. I need to know that you think I am really thoughtful. Or spiritual. Or funny.
I need to know that you got engaged, or are having a baby, or are buying a house so that I can feel happy for you. But, also, so that I can continue to tend the embers of self-pity that I am single, and motherless, and living in an apartment with a really needy animal.
Facebook helps me connect, sure. There are wonderful things about it. But Facebook gives concreteness to my abstract sin. And that is why I am so addicted to it. Because I am addicted to myself and I am addicted to my sin.
Jesus calls us to look squarely at our stuff. Even gives us a list in Mark that is so comprehensive there is no way to avoid being on it. We are defiled by the things that come out of our sinful hearts. And can only be made clean and whole by the concrete God, made flesh in Jesus Christ. For it is he who overcomes my self-made ritual, and calls me to himself, forgives me, and makes me new.
Which is a very cool thing to post on Facebook.


Sarah Laribee
MDiv Student
Pittsburgh, PA


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