What is it about the current craze that seems to be doing the rounds at this moment in time ? I refer to “the selfie”, the taking of a photo of yourself and posting it on Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites.
In recent days we've had President Barack Obama and David Cameron posing for a self-portrait at Nelson Mandelas memorial, followed by a simply superb cartoon on the newspaper of St. Peter and Nelson Mandela doing the same at the pearly gates. I saw one a while back of a pop fan at a Robbie Williams concert. She turned her back on the stage and took the photo. Trouble is it looked as though she had a leprechaun sized pop star standing on here shoulder. What's it all about ? Is it about claiming some sort of reflected glory from the fame of others.
And then there are the somewhat seedier selfies of celebrities taking their own photos and trying to look sexy at the same time. What's it all about ? Is it some sort of self-promotion, an attempt to remain in the public eye ?
There is also the endless round of youngsters taking selfies and sending them to each other. What's it all about ? Is it about trying to be the coolest in the gang ?
Or is it all just a bit of harmless fun ?
Whatever it is about (and I suspect it's harmless fun in the majority of cases) it reminds me that humankind is often self-obsessed; our image is important to us, hence the style magazines, the rise of the dieting firms like slimming world and weight-watchers (although for some that is about health), the beauty tips, the fashion trends. We want to look good for that makes us feel good and gives us confidence.
The trouble is that being constantly concerned with self-image and with what others think of us puts an amazing amount of pressure on us.
And we approach that time of year when we are reminded that selfies are not what it's all about. Think about it, God had the biggest palace (Heaven), he was the coolest (all of Heaven worshipped Him), He was all-powerful (anyone who could speak worlds into being is pretty awesome), His image was the best of all.
What did He do? Gave it all up for us. From the palace of Heaven to the poverty of the stable; from the coolest to the poorest, from the most powerful to the most vulnerable as a baby and why ?
Because as we are reminded throughout the Gospels in so many words and deeds, “For God so loved the world……..”. Surely a 'selfie' speaks of some sort of inherent selfishness (which we all have ) but Christmas is a time to be reminded that it's actually all about others!
So, this year can we put others first? Can we put ourselves last? After all God did that for us.
Couldn't resist a couple of selfies…….. Just for fun of course !