Facebook has been criticized lately for their analytics – the way they track people and share information. The procedures, for the most part, are not good. I found it of interest that Facebook recently shared something with me about the Saint John’s Facebook site. I can now tell when people who “like” our page are on Facebook; in particular, Facebook can tell me when they are looking at our page. I do not get names but I do get the data.
Here is what struck me – some of our people are on-line at 3 in the morning. I figured, knowing you all, that no one would be on line in the wee morning hours. I was wrong. There are folks in our community who are on Facebook at that time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, God is a night owl. God does great, important and influential work, in the middle of the night. The Book of Genesis tells us that in the beginning, when the earth was dark, the Spirit of God blew over the waters and God said, “Let there be light.” That tells me—admittedly, I am being somewhat lighthearted here – that God began the work of creation at night. When a Wind from God dried the land of the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross into freedom, in my mind’s eye, I can see that happening at night. Later on, Jacob had a vision of a ladder or staircase to heaven. The vision happened at night. Jesus was born at night and resurrected before the sun rose on that Easter morning. And, let us not forget that it was the middle of the night when he was praying the garden of Gethsemane and the disciples couldn’t keep their eyes open.
God does important and influential work at night. People are looking at our Facebook site at the darkest hour of the night. I imagine they are looking for hope. We need to recognize that a community of people is awake all night. Some people who are on our prayer teams are up at that time on a regular basis. I am going to ask them to pray for the on-line, 3 a.m. crowd that is looking at our site.
The shepherds were awake to hear the good news of great cheer that the Savior of the World was born. The soldiers, pulling the graveyard shift in front of Jesus’ tomb, were the first to experience the resurrected Christ. The Israelites saw the outstretched and powerful hand of God clear a path for them through the Red Sea. We too have our own community who are looking for God in the middle of the night. May God be with them and give them hope and peace.