Saturday, January 10, 2015

Longing For Relationship

The New Year is 10 days old and folks have long forgotten the joyous celebrations that took place all over the world on December 31, 2014. One of my traditions is to stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York City. No matter how cold the temperature, people huddle together waiting for the big countdown. Once the New Year comes in the celebration begins complete with confetti, horns, cheers, lots of hugs and some kisses. I often wonder what drives people to stand out in the freezing cold to watch a large ball with hundreds of L.E.D. lights slide its way down a shaft until the New Year's sign lights up? I believe that in that brief moment of time, people forget about what's going on in the world and focus on being together with friends and/or family. People are interested in relationship. God created us to be in relationship. In both the Old and New Testaments God reveals Himself as a God who desires to be in relationship with His creation. From the opening chapters of Genesis where God creates man and woman (Genesis 1:26) and then brings them together (Genesis1 :22-23) relationship is God's design and desire. After the Fall, the idea of covenant is introduced and established with Noah after the flood. (Genesis 9:8-17) A covenant is not the same as a contract. A contract calls for certain conditions to be met in order for the contract to remain valid and in effect. Contracts can even be broken by one party or the other. The language of contract says, "I will do this if you do that. A covenant runs much deeper and when established by God it is unconditional and unbreakable. The language of covenant say, "I will" no if's, and's, or buts. There are several major covenants established throughout the Old Testament in anticipation of the establishment of the New Covenant which finds its fulfillment in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. (Luke 22:20) When God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from bondage, He establishes His relationship with the people using the language of covenant, "I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God." (Exodus 6:7a) Moreover, in the closing chapters of Revelation as the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven, God uses covenantal language to reinforce His relationship with humanity. "And I heard a voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3) While the introduction of modern technology has helped to connect us globally, it has also served to isolate us from community. Face to face interaction appears to be secondary to media like Facebook, Twitter, texting, and e-mail. However, deep down there is a longing to be in relationship with another human being. Have you noticed how the latest cell phones now have someone you can talk to? Her name is Sirri and she is able to respond to many issues, from questions you may ask about locating a particular address to reminding you of your appointments. Isn't it ironic how marketers of cell phones on some level have realized that people long for relationship? Sadly, technology appears to have become the new "god" for most people. Just like the ancient God's of wood and stone that the people worshipped drawing them away from their relationship with the Living God, so our "gods of bytes and gigabytes" threaten to do the same. Is there something deep inside your soul that longs to be connected to someone? Could that someone be even greater than yourself? God wants to be in relationship with you. He is the One your heart ultimately longs for. God says, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me."(Proverbs 8:17) May 2015 be the year when we take time to be in deep and meaningful relationships with God and with each other.
Peace & Blessings,
Pastor Sheree

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