Scripture reading in the times of social media

It is almost true that social media has taken over as the medium of communication, it is no longer the alternative.  It makes difficult words easy to share. When one is buying a cell phone, one ought to be sure it can access Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram among other, otherwise it will be just for mobile wallet services and texting, that how important social media has been. Pope Francis even said social media is “a gift of God” only if it is used correctly. 

But has social media robbed us of our time for reading and studying the scriptures? We wake up to our phones every morning, even before our eyes are fully awake. We the young people and a few elderly people, have known many things through social platforms of this kind. What their parents do not teach them, social media does. 

For the Archdiocese of Harare, September is an important Bible Month. Does it makes a difference to celebrate this month, in the Year of young people? In this same month, the Holy Father calls us to pray for young people in Africa. 

Many of us, the young and old, benefit more from social media but one wonders, does it also help to educate us in our spiritual journey, in our reading and studying of the scriptures? Shouldn’t there be a balance in the use of these platforms and the reading of scripture?

If explored well, social media can be a powerful tool for relaying the message of the Gospel and a platform for discussion on what God calls us to today through the scripture. If we could “read God’s messages in the bible like we read messages on the mobile phone” as Pope Francis accentuated, the world could be a better place to live. 

The family is a very basic and physical group that people can use to pray with scriptures. The beauty of Scriptures is that it has the message for everyone in a family setup, from parents to little children. Let us not let our Bibles develop cobwebs because we do not open them. They need us and we need them. Let us reinvigorate our relationship with the Bible and know God better, then everything else will follow. It’s not too late, the time is now. Before we get our cell phone in the morning, why can’t we begin our day with just a little passage from the Bible and if possible a little moment of reflection. Be blessed.

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