Follow the Link
Follow the Link
A couple of years ago under the guidance of my nephew I opened an account on both MySpace and Face Book. I did not bother to do anything with them for all that time until this year that some people sent me a request to add them to my friends list. It is great, Face Book will sent you an email where they tell you that John Doe added you as a friend on Face Book; and they want you to confirm that you know John Doe in order for you and John Doe to be friends in Face Book. All you need to do is follow the link where you can confirm or ignore the request. I just have a few friends but there are people that have hundreds of friends on their list.
A couple of weeks ago I read an article about Twitter, a new program that allows people to be in communication. I wanted to see how it worked so I created an account. This is different than Face Book, rather than add people as friends you decide to follow someone. That means that people would post small messages about what they are doing to keep their followers informed. I already have one person who decided to follow me, so I thought it was just good manners to follow him. The program gives you information as to what date and time the person updated their twitter.
Let me share some of the exciting things that I get to know about the person that I am following. At 3:03 AM on March 24th he was gearing up for a long day. At 6:54 AM on March 23rd he was “trying to find Mary Smith. On March 22nd at 1:06 PM he shared: “is all about flushing! What a joy to be able to run water! Now let the clean up begin!” Well, you get the picture. Now that I have joined twitter, help me understand why do I need that information? According to his profile there are 70 people following him and he is following 136 persons. There are people who do not want to miss any of this information so they have twitter on their phone so that they can be updated every minute about those they are following.
As I was pondering the mystery of people following every single details of someone else, asking myself why would anyone would want to know when someone stopped for coffee; or what they thought about the flower they saw as they walked in the park, when I realized that God is following you, wanting to know what most of us would consider to be insignificant details about your life. In trying to assure his disciples of God’s care for them Jesus told them: “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30). Why would God want to know that? Some people may not have anything better to do, but God? He is the creator of a universe that is expanding even as we speak. I believe it is just a sign of how much God loves you; God is interested in every detail of your life.
God even wants to make God’s MySpace into your space. Jesus reminded us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3). God wants you to be in heaven more than you do, God desires your company. Like the father of the prodigal son, God is looking to the horizon, hoping that you come to your senses and come home.
In fact, all God wants is for you to add him as your friend. This text in the book of Jeremiah is the only reference to a new covenant in the entire Old Testament. This new covenant is to be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; it will cover the northern and the southern kingdom. God is making a new covenant in spite of Israel and Judah breaking the old covenant, even though God was like a husband to them. The apostle Paul tells us that we have been inserted unnaturally to this new covenant.
“This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” In other words, instead of obedience being a question of response to external commandments, obedience is to become second nature to the people. Inner response will replace outward demand. It will no longer be that you ought to, but that you will want to.
When I first began to attend church it was because my step mother forced me to go. I do not know if any of you have ever attended church because you had to go and not because you wanted. When you attend church against your will you expend most of the time thinking about what you will do once you leave this place, to do what you really want to do. The difference of the law written in your heart is that you cannot wait to go to church; not because preaching is good, not because the music is good, not because the pews are good, but because God is good. You will discover the joy of praising God; you will enjoy the sweetness and beauty of God’s presence.
But if we look at Christians, at the new people of God, at the Church, what are we to say? If Jeremiah were in our midst today might he not still be looking forward to a new covenant, for precisely the same reasons that led him to talk about the need for one in his own day? Is there any evidence that we in the Church today are any more obedient to God than Jeremiah was, or the people in his own day were? Perhaps instead of talking fluently as Christians, as we sometimes do, about the new covenant, we ought to take a long hard look at ourselves and wonder.
All these social networks in the internet are the signs of the thirsts of people to belong, to have meaning in their life, to know that someone cares. It is part of the human need to be in community, to be part of something greater than themselves. So if someone looking for human connections came to our worship, how would they know that you care? How can you show the love of God that has been poured into you? Jeremiah says that part of the covenant is that The Lord will be our God and that we will be God’s people; to be God’s people is to love what God loves and God loves the person sitting around you. How do you let God know that you love them? How about those people that used to sit around you and you no longer see them, how do you show God that you still love them?
“No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” A church made up of people who know God is radically difference than a church made up of people who know about God. When you know God you cannot help want to praise him. I am not talking about a particular way of praising, you would praise God according to what praise means to you, but you would praise. Do you know God, do you want to know God better than you know him now?
This new covenant is possible because of God’s forgiveness of sin; forgiveness is the door that opened up the potential of a new beginning. Jesus is God’s link to him; just follow Jesus to add God as your friend. Our link to God is Jesus; you may follow men and women in Twitter. You can also follow Jesus as a disciple in Christ church.