Sunday afternoon I left the Apple Store at Conner Prairie - one of my favorite seasonal stores carrying fall treats like jams, jellies and locally grown apples - loaded my bag of apples in the car and noticed an attractive young couple walking across the parking lot, laughing and holding hands. The man pulled his phone from a back pocket. The two put their heads together with big grins, while he snapped again and again.
Sitting in my car watching the moment of delight, I remembered the days when someone had to be left out of a picture to capture a group. Cell phones now allow everyone to be included in a picture and preserve many moments which in the past would be incomplete.
People find great pleasure taking selfies, often posting on Facebook. Selfies enable us to capture what is happening in the moment in one click and share with others a few seconds later.
What would God do with a cell phone camera?
We know we live and move in God's presence and we are God's people created in God's image. We reflect God's love in our hearts through words and actions. If God took a selfie, would all who believe and follow God's teachings be included?
I believe Jesus is God's first selfie. After all, Colossians 1:15 says, "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Jesus, God's son, came to earth modeling a life of love and teaching how to live in all circumstances.
There were no cell phones during the time Jesus lived, but if Jesus had one, do you think he would take selfies with the people he healed, with the little boy who brought bread and fish, with the wedding couple in front of the barrels he changed from water to wine?
Jesus' instagram could have multiple daily postings as he traveled through towns and villages doing God's work always bringing glory to God.
Thinking how selfies might have provided Jesus with an instant evangelistic tool and an 'up to the minute' recording of his work is amusing to consider, but not really reflective of Jesus' character.
Twice Jesus reminded people he healed not to tell anyone about their interaction. He was emphatic after he healed two blind men. "Jesus spoke sternly to them. 'Don't tell this to anyone.'" (Matthew 9:27-29). When he healed a man with a skin disorder, Jesus said to him, "Listen! Don't tell anyone." (Matthew 8:1-4).
I often see selfies on Facebook of teenagers and adults who are in places of service or on mission trips. These photos are posted to bring glory to God and honor the energy and vision Christ provides to care for those in need.
Eating a crisp, juicy apple as I drove away from the Apple Store, I realized Jesus would not feel comfortable making a selfie, but he might receive pleasure as he notes the way believers in the twenty-first century record and publicize the many ways God is at work in the kingdom.
What selfie can you take that brings love to others and models God's first selfie, Jesus?