Jesus, the Good Webmaster

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20

With shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture,
the flock that is your heritage,
living confined in a forest
with meadow land all around.
Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead
as in the days of old.
As in the days when you came out of Egypt
grant us to see wonders.
What god can compare with you: taking fault away,
pardoning crime,
not cherishing anger for ever
but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us,
tread down our faults,
to the bottom of the sea
throw all our sins.
Grant Jacob your faithfulness,
and Abraham your mercy,
as you swore to our fathers
from the days of long ago.

While typing out the readings for the day, I am reminded of some problems that we’ve been having with our office online network. I’ve been having discussions with the webmaster of the diocese’s network, and to me, he’s like the Good Webmaster.

As Singaporeans in the modern world we don’t really see what Jesus is saying when he likens himself to a shepherd. But if Jesus were to come today, he might liken himself to a webmaster. A webmaster is one who takes care of the entire online community in his network. He protects them from viruses, hackers, and other intrusive devices. He does a lot of background work, maintaining the system so that everyone on the network can go about doing their daily tasks.

Whenever someone has a problem, they come running to the webmaster asking for help. But soon as the problem is resolved, the webmaster is forgotten. Sometimes, when a person is facing a problem for a long time, and the webmaster still hasn’t resolved the problem for him, the person goes and scolds the webmaster for not having done anything and demands that he fix the problem immediately. An average webmaster might work to solve an immediate problem, but a good webmaster goes deep down and uncovers the root of the problem.

Are these not our reactions to God when we have a problem? Do we not go running to God every time we have a problem, but as soon as the problem is fixed, God is forgotten? Sometimes when we are facing a prolonged problem, do we not blame God for it and demand that he come and fix it? But God doesn’t want to just focus on the immediate problem; he wants to go deep down into our hearts and uncover the root of the problem.

That’s the down side. There’s also an upside. The webmaster introduces new software for the online community. For example, the team behind constantly works hard to introduce new themes and plug-ins for the community. As users of the community, we can submit requests to the team and if it doesn’t go against their plans, they accede to our request.

Similarly, God is constantly blessing us with new and wonderful gifts. As his people, we can ask him for stuff and if it doesn’t go against his plans for us, he often grants it.

But most importantly, a webmaster is not someone who sits on his throne and does whatever he wants, grants this person’s request, solves that person’s problem. Rather, the webmaster is the servant of all the users of the community. He constantly manages the network, making sure everything is alright, protecting the users from external threats, and strengthens the community and aids them in their growth.

Didn’t Jesus come to serve as well?

What you can do:
Take the time today to write a nice email to your webmaster, thanking him or her for his constant service, and for reminding you of Jesus.

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