Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:14
Christians are called to be emotionally engaged with one another. We need to know when the good stuff happens to each other as well as when the bad stuff does. For Paul’s audience, this knowledge was possible through their regular gatherings together for worship. I trust those first century Christians also rubbed shoulders with one another throughout the week. But our culture is different. We are modern. We are connected via the Worldwide Web. And nothing has done more to help us stay connected like Facebook.
Facebook is a blessing.
Have you found that to be the case? Just this week we have had perhaps hundreds of “friends” praying for our fevering baby. In a very real sense, they were weeping with our weeping. Those who told us so were truly emotionally engaged. We see such participation as well when we share good news on FB. Many respond with awesome comments and praise God for His manifold blessings. So–we do appreciate the tool of Facebook which allows connection that distance and time often diminish.
However grateful I am for the conduit of Facebook, I am aware of the necessity of personal contact. No social media will ever replace human presence. Individual-to-individual ministry will always trump that latest and greatest technological resource. Can I give you a concrete example? Someone just now came to the door. It was my wife’s chiropractor. She had been following our woes this week (three of us have a viral infection). She’s probably been praying as well, but she decided to do something practical. She brought us a package of herbal tea (the expensive stuff). Isn’t that awesome?! Isn’t that a great example of weeping with those who weep? (She was also “contributing to the needs of the saints!”) She was alert to what was going on and she cared enough to do something about it. Our Aunt Vonnie did the same today when she surprised us with supper.
We need to be alert to what is going on and care enough to do something about it. If our family, friends, co-workers, fellow students (etc.), experience joy, we are called to rejoice with them. And, if they encounter the unexpected, unwanted drama and trauma that is part and parcel to our life, we are commanded to weep.
Remember you are rarely “fine.” Others usually are not “fine.” Poke around a bit. Ask specific questions. Risk personal contact. Rejoice. Weep.