Monday, March 30, 2009

Life in cyberspace

An edited version of my Morning Thought, for BBC Radio Wiltshire

There is no getting away from it. Life in the UK is being increasingly lived in cyberspace. Most homes now have internet access. You may even be listening online rather than on a trusty old wireless. Information Technology is one of the core subjects taught in school. In the old days you were happy if you left school with a good grasp of the “Three R’s”. Nowadays you are not properly educated unless you can send an e-mail and Google for information which you can copy for your homework. How would today’s young scholars manage without Wikipedia?

The internet has changed the way we relate to each other. 7 million people in the UK have signed up to Facebook, the social networking site, including me. I’m not sure why I did it. And to be honest I find it all a bit bewildering. It’s probably my age. I started getting friendship requests from people who I thought were already my mates. People whom I didn’t even know asked if they could be my friends. I suppose it’s nice to be popular. But there must be more to friendship than adding someone to a list on Facebook.

I’m not saying things like Facebook, Twitter and blogging are necessarily bad. They can help to keep people in touch, enable useful information to be made available and so on. But Cyberspace is virtual reality. There can be no substitute for relationships with flesh and blood people in the real world. Jesus is the Word made flesh. He did not simply send us information from heaven. He became one of us. Jesus befriended a wide range of people. He took and interest in their lives and shared with them the good news of God’s kingdom. Ultimately went to the cross for us, saying, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” As the old hymn says,
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
Now there’s a true friend for you.
On BBC Radio Wiltshire around 6.25 each morning from Monday 30th March to Friday 3rd April. Frequency 103.6, 104.3 & 103.5 FM, or listen online.

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