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  • Writer's pictureRich Zeiger

Wired for Connection (Part I)

I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries. So sings Paul Simon with the acidic bite of a jaded heart in the classic Simon & Garfunkel song. Posed as a direct juxtaposition with John Donne’s famous claim that, “No man is an island entire of itself…,” Simon uses thick irony to emphasize the reality of our real need and deep craving for relationship amid the pain and difficulty that innately comes with caring about others. No matter what we may say or how sincerely we may mean it, we are wired for connection. This is no accident. God purposely made us for relationship. We cannot escape it, nor should we try. God created us to be intimately connected with Him, and He gave us one another to reflect and express our relationship with Him. (Matthew 22:37-40) Throughout the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, the Holy Spirit gives us a clear picture of and mandate for living for the Lord in the context of relationships. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) reveals God’s relational created order, the breach of both divine and human relationship through sin, and God’s plan to restore both. We see there the origin of God’s chosen nation and His laws for interacting with God and man. Throughout the Historical Books (Joshua through Esther), we see God dealing with His people both corporately and individually, holding His people responsible for one another’s spiritual, emotional, and physical welfare. The Wisdom Books (Job through Song of Solomon) are dripping with relational content focusing on how to live together wisely and righteously. The Prophets (Isaiah through Malachi) cry out against the failure of God’s people to do that very thing…the failure to love God and love others righteously. The New Testament picks up the theme. In the Gospels, God demonstrates His relational love for His people by sending His only begotten Son to redeem and restore our relationship with Him. We see the birth and growth of the Church—Christ’s redeemed people, living in committed, loving relationships with one another—in the Book of Acts. The Epistles explain the content and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how to love and live together as His Church. Finally, the Book of Revelation reveals the consummation of all things when Christ returns for His Bride, the Church, and the perfect, sinless intimacy of God’s original Creation is restored as He makes all things new. There is no such thing as a “Lone Ranger” Christian. We are called to community for our good and God’s glory. We belong to one another, and we bear responsibility for one another. We grow through the joys and pains of committed, invested connection with other flawed humans—people just as hard to love as we are. This is God’s design for us, and following His design is the only way we truly flourish. May the God who created us for community bless each of your relationships as you surrender yourself to His glorious purposes.

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