Easter 5b – Sunday 6th May 2012
John 15: 1-8
How much Klout do you carry? Yes, I can spell – and my spellchecker is not turned off. How much Klout do you wield?
I measure my Klout with an internet tool. As I delved deeper into Social Media I was invited to see how much influence I had. Klout watches my interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, even here on WordPress, and lists people I influence, my social reach, my network impact and other scores.
I don’t go on this site to see how wonderful a person I am. I don’t visit because it makes me feel important. I’ve signed up with Klout because I want to see my influence increase, I want to make sure that the message I’m proclaiming (through my work and my life and my faith) is reaching people.
But as much as I hope to be an influencer, I daily recognise that I’m influenced. By Debby, Jacob, Kristian and Charlotte. By the news. By advertising and marketing. But the most, hopefully, by God and by faith.
For instance, I don’t start this blog without being influenced. Consider this wonderful passage from William Loader over at the Uniting Church of Australia:
The image of the tree, vine or plant is a rich source for spiritual reflection. It invites us to sense the divine as beneath us, rising up, rather than above us condescending. The top down model has its attractiveness, but it is often associated with notions of power which confuse or abuse. The simplicity of the image of life from below suits John’s spirituality well, where relationship is what matters, and how we live is determined solely by that relationship, what flows from it. The vine and its resources enable the branches to grow and bear fruit. The image invites us to transcend its contours and imagine ourselves as being able to connect and disconnect from the source. Our spirituality consists in letting the flow happen. John is practical enough to know that this is not automatic. It needs encouragement, instruction, leading.
Or even, David Ewart’s words (a man I’ve featured on more than one occasion here at aweirdthing.wordpress.com and a big influence on me) at Holy Textures:
However, loving someone is not the same as feeding them. When we feed someone, we usually give them something they don’t have. But when we love someone, we don’t give them something they don’t have. Rather, we connect with something that is already in them.
I learn so much from those around me that I want it to shape my life, to influence others. I want to be excited by the good news of Jesus Christ. I want to share the joy of faith. I want to invite others to walk the walk of discovery that I’m on. I want to comfort those whose burden is heavy, who find life senseless and painful. I want to encourage those who feel like giving up. I want people to be surprised by the way, the truth and the life of God. I want people to build and work at relationships, to invest time and energy in growing together. I want to nurture gifts that well up inside people and are of benefit to others. I want to free people to be authentic, honest and sincere. All things that I’ve been led to, and continue to be led to each and every day. Gifts worked out in my life because I’m greatly influenced by those around me.
To all these things I’m connected – like a vine with its branches and roots!
And this reaches its ultimate in my relationship with God, where I only seek to reflect his glory through my imperfect and sinful life. I want to bear fruit because I’m connected to the source. His is THE influence. He is the Creator. I want to touch people with love, because I have been touched amazingly by God’s love. It’s simple.
So remember. You are both influenced and influential. And if you do wander over to Klout tell them I sent you, I was a big influence on you. It might give me some more Klout!