Central to Christian tradition and theology is the idea that God is Trinity. The divine mystery that God exists as one God in three persons. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit.
What the trinity reveals is that God is a divine community of love. God is a family. God is a Father who loves his son. The Son is the radiance of the Father. The Spirit is the one through whom the Father loves and blesses the Son. God is a family. God is a parent loving a child through the power of the spirit. God is love and having this kind of God changes everything.
You see, we were made in the image and likeness of God; the familial, loving, communal God. We have been gifted with great creativity, imagination, and power. To bear the image of God means to have responsibility and influence.
So we create art and start businesses. We learn trades and build homes. We use our power and creativity to learn, develop, and expand the world. Take a moment and be amazed at all that humanity has been able to create and develop. From the smallest pieces of technology in my computer to rockets that go into space, humans have been part of truly unbelievable creations.
But what kind of world have we created with all this development and creativity and power? We have the potential to FaceTime with a person halfway around the world but we might never know the name of the person who lives across the street. Over time, we have built neighborhoods and cities full of tall fences and closed curtains. We spend our days going to school, going to an office, working from home, and then at the end of the day, we put our cars in the garage, shut the door, and hide away from the world. We retreat into our apartments and try to forget that on the other side of the wall is another person.
I thought this was the dream. As a boy I could not wait to have my own space. I dreamt of the day I would be on my own – be free from the necessary sharing of a house with my family. I wanted to be self-sufficient, making it through life on my own, unshackled from the need to be connected or dependent on others.
A study by Cigna revealed that Americans are chronically lonely. Nearly 50% of people in the survey expressed they generally feel alone or left out. And younger generations are experiencing this at increasing rates. It seems that we have come to believe the lie that we are at our best when we are on our own. We must realize self-sufficiency is a lie and we absolutely need each other.
We are designed in the image of God; the triune, loving, communal God. To be alone and isolated is like swimming against the flow of the river, we are meant to be in community. We are designed to share our lives with others. In community we get to experience the presence of the triune God in our fellow Christian brother or sister. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”
This is the answer to our loneliness crisis. We need a space to rekindle our desire for community. We need a place that will remind us that it is not good to be alone. We need people to remind us to build bigger tables instead of taller fences.
We need the church.
The church is a unique place to embrace the power, authority, and creativity of the gospel message. The church is also a place to be completely vulnerable, broken, and honest. In the church we can be both empowered and exposed. We can be people that welcome in the hurting and broken into the loving community of the Kingdom of God. We can become loving hosts to a needy world.
This is true life. This is community. This is why we need to the church in our life.
At Vista, we believe by following our Discipleship Pathway, we will give God space and time to help us look more like Jesus. Worship, Connect, Give, Serve, Go. Not only can you not live out these actions alone, it would be unwise.
Remember, you are made in the image of a triune God, a loving God of community. Don’t let the lie of pride and loneliness keep you from connecting with others. We need each other.
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