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Sunday Devotion: 1 November 2020, All Saints Day

Sunday Devotions

Staying humble in the age of social media

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: Revelation 7.9-17; Psalm 34.1-10, 22; 1 John 3.1-3; Matthew 5.1-12

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 97; Isaiah 65.17-25; Luke 9.18-27; Psalm 33; Sirach 44.1-15; Revelation 19.1-10

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5.3)

I am pretty involved in social media, with Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat. I have noticed that people generally don’t post content on social media to be humble – it’s usually to boast about something. I saw an Instagram post recently showing a celebrity in the USA celebrating the birthday of a baby in excessively lavish fashion in the midst of a pandemic, with an expensive cake, flowers and gifts.

For me, this line from the Beatitudes tells us that being humble is about knowing that our blessings come from God and that material comforts can’t replace this knowledge. Spending so much money on a baby’s birthday party during a pandemic seems such a waste when so many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to live. Being humble is about having concern for others and not just ourselves, especially during a global crisis.

Showing humility is important in our everyday life because it demonstrates God’s love to our friends and family. Jesus’ humility was shown in him becoming human and experiencing everything we do, while being patient, meek, giving and selfless. If we value humility, we acknowledge that there are needs greater than our own. By helping others we humble ourselves and in turn encourage others to do the same.

In an age of social media, it can be easy to get swept up into other people’s realities, instead of knowing that we have enough and are enough.

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