That wasn’t exactly how I said it on Wednesday when talking with Michael Buckingham at #140conf in Detroit. What I said that morning was that Jesus is the ultimate social medium.
What I mean either way is that when the Word put on a body and walked around, having conversations with people, it was what happens with “social” media.
Social media, as opposed to broadcast media, is about interaction, about comments. Someone describes what they are doing, someone else comments, someone else comments on the comment. A statement invites interaction.
At the beginning of the book of John, John talks about the Word, one of John’s names for Jesus. John talks about the Word walking around. The Word has conversations, asks and answers questions, listens to what people are saying and responds.
That isn’t the image we often have of God. There is the rule-giver of Exodus and Leviticus, the declarer of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Those are images of a one-way broadcasting kind of media, cranking out 50,000 watts. That kind of a God may get our attention, but certainly not our affection. And that kind of God offers no affection.
But what if God becomes interactive?
God wouldn’t have to give up knowing everything, necessarily. We don’t make experts we follow on social media give up their expertise. But we love when they notice us, when they become one of us, when they are part of our community. We are grateful when they give us a shout out, when they say “that person made a good point.”
And that is what John is describing. In Jesus, in the incarnation, God allows comments. Throughout the Gospels there are conversations, interactions between Jesus and disciples and Pharisees and everyone between.
God offers this as a model. I wonder why we don’t follow.