I lost connection to to many friends and families during the Covid panic. The prevailing logic was to just use social media to stay “aware” but this proved to be false and even worse than no connection at all. In reality, the incessant whining and searching for relevance and popularity empowered the FBs to control my life and actually divided and disconnected us all even further. The Rules of appropriate and respectful caring connection communication are non existent or at a minimum severely perverted in the digital realm.
The only solution is live face to face contact. To talk, to sing, to eat, and to celebrate together we MUST be together. Even calling and messaging cannot and will not substitute for physical time. This reality is subject to the overly committed personal calendars which each of us freely build. It seems that our “social” society, at least mine, has decided that other priorities are more important. This is lunacy.
My solution is to set aside time and let my crew choose. I model a spirit and practice of hospitality. I seek to build in the expectation that they are welcome, as a regular ritual. We work together, we talk, we eat and sing and try hard to avoid any and all judgement. The time makes this real.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At the core all I can control is my own behavior and choices and I respect others’ above all. My friends and family must choose to be social, real and present. This exposes us to emotions and failures for sure, but it opens us to celebrations and life together.
What is the alternative to this time committed and connected? Disconnected delusions of connection where the illusion of caring substitute for authenticity is a recipe for full scale cultural chaos. It cannot be mandated. It cannot be dictated.
How does the priority work out for this time thing?. It goes like this.
The sabbath is and was set aside to remind each of us to stay connected. We used to do this by going to church. In the world today, we have come to understand that we ARE the church. The social Sunday sabbath provides the very essence and foundation for success in every facet of life, if priorities are in order.
Start somewhere. Will you, can you, do you choose to make time together a priority. Choose wisely. Your future and your family’s future depends on it.
“So let’s do it— full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
We are the church.
We choose to connect.
We choose relationship.
We choose what worshiping means and how it is done.
The framework and timing is in the book.
The choice remains. What will you choose? Who will you choose? How will you choose?
Local churches too often thrive on a culture of control. We set a standard of fear and condemnation based on an unachievable standard and spend our precious relationship cycles telling people what they can’t do. Our control choice inhibits the mission of spreading good news.
We should be focusing our leadership and congregations on what they CAN do. That is GOOD News of great joy. God is love. We the people are charged to live in that example. The entire garden of Eden is ours and yet we focus on control and the one tree. That power choice controls us.
That is impossible.
Christianity is not rational. It is miraculous. Jesus loves us in spite of us. He was resurrected from the dead and is God was God as well as man. Based on what we know, this is impossible. Faith requires belief in what it impossible.
The mystery of the Trinity boggles the minds of men because we are made, we are not God. It is okay to not understand everything. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. This is the way.
Light em up.
Turning on a light in the midst of a dark, dangerous place is not a subtle small thing. It is miraculous, courageous and powerful.
Think evil, bugs, criminals, etc. The light is the beginning of their end and they know it. They will fight.
Stand up and fight back. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat is not about being neutral. Let your light, the light of God, shine. Let it shine Let it shine let it shine.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
--- Marianne Williamson.
Intersection of principles and practices...