I wrote this for a local paper that has a quota for the numbers of words that can be used.
Early this morning as I write this article I hear that “Twitter” is flat on the stock market due to “flat usage”. I take that to mean that “Twitter” users may be getting tired of knocking out a 140 character response to every flash of stupidity or perceived slight. They may be getting worn down by constant responding to the vicissitudes of life and trying to tell people what they should like or distain. If the subscribers aren’t getting tired it seems that fewer people are signing up to do the twittering. The symbol of this unique way of communicating is a little bird, hence the twitter and the tweet imaging. If the stock market reports are truth, the little birds might be getting tired or frustrated.
I find this interesting because writing an article like this can be an exercise in frustration. It can be longer than 140 characters but that can be a curse. Some of us go from thinking that we can write the great American novel, to being thankful that we can sweat out a sermon every Sunday. We get to be like the bored student who counts every word of an essay to make sure that we can stop at 500. By the way this one should be 505 words, no more, no less. An article like this makes tremendous assumptions; one is that I have something to offer and the other is that you might want to receive it. Part of the receiving is reading. The 140 character mark is not happenstance. “Twitter” used to work because that mark seemed to be the limit of what most people had to say and also the
limit of what most people wanted read.
There is such a thing as a divine brevity. Paul said it to the Corinthians in 73 characters. “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” That doesn’t work for publicity that would seek to make a church look like a huckster selling a competitive product. It doesn’t work if you are trying to make a case for a therapeutic treatment program and self esteem boosting. A half a “Tweet” that takes us from before the foundations of the world (Revelations 13;8) to a world without end. In that sentence Christ becomes the denominator who, in God’s tremendous mathematics gives a place and a value to all things. A crucified Christ who became a curse and scandal and foolishness and sums up everything including poor sinful people into Himself. A crucified Christ means, as one of my old profs once said, “that amid the fearful lightnings of God’s judgment and the gladsome crashing of His grace the new world rises up before our eyes, the new heavens and the new earth, where God’s angels and God’s redeemed thunder forth unending Alleluias and all God’s little birds enter into the glorious liberty of the sons of God and sing (tweet) in Paradisal freedom once more.”Share this on: