God the Son came near. How can you? Being more personal in an impersonal age.

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At Christmas, we celebrate the Incarnation of God the Son. God became human and lived among us. The transcendent God came near! As Christians, we should “come near” too.

I think we live in a time when it is critical for churches and individual Christians to be more personal with others. Modern technology, with its many benefits, can also have an isolating effect on people. They may communicate via technology, but still lack meaningful connection and personal relationships.

Consider communicating more often in personal, tangible, and face-to-face ways. Write a handwritten note or letter, talk on the phone, or get together for coffee. Less…texts, e-mail, social media. Note I said less of such. There is a place for these things, but they have taken over.

Christian philosopher and apologist Douglas Groothuis had several posts about handwritten communication. One is entitled Losing our Letters. What do we lose when we exchange email—or incessant cell phone chatter—for the sending and receiving of letters? Another post is entitled: 10 Ways to Write a Meaningful Card. Writing cards is a way to re-humanize a de-humanized culture. Too much is too automatic and impersonal.

Marlena Graves on twitter recently shared this: “Just a reminder to eulogize people while they’re alive. Contact and connect! Send notes, make calls, tell people why you appreciate them and love them – even people who seem to be doing fine. These are little loving things to do – and also fights isolation and loneliness.”

It is Christmas time. Do you still send Christmas cards in the mail? I do. You don’t have to send a card to everyone, but how about buying one box of cards to send to certain people? An elderly relative or a friend not on social media may especially appreciate finding “real mail” in their mailbox. Take the time to write a note, updating them on your life and inquiring about their life. People can feel forgotten, overlooked – and your Christmas card could be a real encouragement. In the post above about writing meaningful cards, Groothuis prays:

“Lord, who needs a card?”

You can utilize social media to reach out in more personal ways. For example, rather than stating “sorry for your loss” or “happy birthday” along with 50 other people responding to the same facebook post or notification, do something personal! Send a postal card. Make a phone call. Be there for someone, in person. Do something tangible to help or congratulate.

As Christians, we are to reflect our Lord, who came near and cared for people in personal ways. Christians should be the last people to be impersonal, but I fear too many churches and Christians have become exactly that – impersonal.

Not just at Christmas time, but as we move into the year of our Lord 2020, take time to reflect upon your communication with others.
Have you drifted into impersonal communication methods?
Have you forgotten about people who are not on social media or don’t use smart phones?
How can you better connect with others?
How can you help re-humanize a de-humanized culture?

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