Guess what? There are 53 days until we are sitting at a Thanksgiving dinner with family and 85 days until a Christmas that is filled with family gatherings, eating meals together, the giving of gifts and the joy of connecting with family and friends.
Now take a moment and think what would it be like to have no relational connections through the holidays?
Some people speculate that profound “aloneness” will be the reality of hell – a torture where eternity is the reality of never again being loved. All because they turned their back and rejected the one who is “love”! That is a deeply scary thought.
We have to admit that we live in a fallen world. The truth is that many people around us are lonely and in need of connecting to a relationship where love is given and received. Recognize that connecting to a community has always been a part of God’s plan. God designed us so that “it was not good that man (or woman) should be alone.”
Let me challenge all of us as a church family. How are you doing with connecting to people called the family of God? Are you convinced that connecting deeply with others is God’s desired plan for our lives? We were never meant to live lives of isolation. Scripture after scripture speaks to this issue of having our lives connected to others.
Here are two reasons to stop and ponder the state of your personal connections within the church family:
Connecting to community fosters love. I have used I Cor. 13 in a number of weddings – look how a portion reads. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Paul held love above all else in his letter to the Corinthians. And he did the same with his letter to the Colossians: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)
The deeper the relational connections, the greater outflow of love given and received. Few and shallow connections lead to little love given and little loved received. That never was God’s design.
Connecting to the body of Christ is “life giving.” Scripture reveals to us that we are better together than if we stay disconnected.
Look what is written, “In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body.” (Romans 12:4-5 MSG)
It can be hard for some of us to commit and connect to a community, especially if we’re guarded or have a bit of fear. But connecting to community is God’s desire for us and He invites us to be used to give life to others. Realize that deep connections are a sign of a growing relationship with Christ.
Maybe the bottom line is this – at the end of the day, when we connect and grow in our relationships with others, we’re growing in relationship with Him!
So what about serving? What about being involved in a community group, or bible study, or DNA group? Connecting in deep relationships within the church family – God’s very design for our lives!