ARTICLE FOR CHURCH NEWSPAPERS ~ November 2017
Saving Our Bacon – by Julia Beacroft
In our modern day quest to communicate with others,
do we also connect them to the Lord ?
WHILE MY SON was at primary school he won a prize. No big deal, you’re probably thinking; children win prizes at school all the time. And you would, of course, be quite correct.
However, this prize was notable – not only because it was a poetry prize and my son hated poetry and English in general – but also because of the content of the poem. For reasons best known only to himself, he decided to write his masterpiece about – of all things – bacon! In fact the title of his poem, (and I use the term loosely), was ‘The Bacon Rap’. And incredibly, the triumphant ending to his epic verse was: ‘Bacon, bacon, comes from a cow!’
Naturally, despite the prize from the school, he’s never been able to live down the joke to this day! However, although hilariously funny, this event served as an excellent means of communication to us and to the school. It announced loudly and clearly that he certainly loved bacon!
Today, communication has become increasingly important and is readily available in a veritable plethora of means and methods. Social media, in particular, has ‘taken off’ in a way that no-one could have anticipated. It has actually become an integral part of our lives, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being universally used as an excellent way of keeping in touch with others and sharing ideas and opinions. In fact, the Pope himself tweets on a daily basis. Facebook and Twitter are particularly good at suggesting ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ as a way of putting people in touch with each other and connecting them.
In the same way, as we attempt to spread the Gospel message, we ourselves are connectors – we connect others to the providential love and grace of God. In so doing our methods of communication are all important, whether this involves talking about our faith, listening to others or helping our neighbour. Even such a basic action as a smile, greeting or kind word to another person is hugely important. It is surprising the way that such small moments of kindness and friendliness can make an enormous difference to the lives of others, and in so doing possibly plant a seed of faith which could germinate
Click on cartoon for larger image.
and grow. When we behave in this way, we are living the Gospel in action. And although there can, and have been problems with social media and that sometimes trivia or even nonsense have been posted on it, let’s not forget that it is also an excellent medium or connector for evangelization, as it reaches out to the whole world with ease. Ironically, Pope Francis tweeted recently:
‘A Christian’s mission in the world is splendid, it is a mission intended for everyone, it is a mission of service, excluding no one!’
In today’s technological world our communication systems are more advanced than ever as we e-mail, Skype, Snapchat and routinely use social media. Rightly or wrongly, letters and former written methods of communication are rapidly becoming an anachronism. Yet conversely our role of connecting others to our Christian faith remains essentially unchanged. May we always embrace any method of communication to bring others to the Lord, so he may take his place in their lives and ‘save their bacon’.
(ENDS - 541 words)