rooted in relationships

Relationships…

With friends. Lifelong friends vacation together each year. They seen each others kids grow up. They supported in sickness, shared joy in achievement, and had many a late night discussing faith and life, usually over a good drink (coffee or coke of course) and a game of cards.

Relationships…

At work. A cohesive team completes tasks efficiently and effectively. Each team member’s contribution is valued. At other times, a grumpy manager or a lazy co-worker make going to work a chore, draining energy beyond the value of the paycheck.

Relationships…

In marriage. Day after day – a commitment to love one another brushes up against the stress of busy suburban life. Conflict can easily overpower intimacy. Yet in the dance of marriage, intimacy can beautifully weave its way in-between and out of struggle. Raising kids, paying bills, moving, vacations, going for walks, making decisions, laughing, crying, loving.

Relationships…

In loneliness. No one likes me. Something is wrong with me. No one wants to be my friend. Loneliness and exclusion. Relationships are what's missing!

Relationships…

In church. Sunday after Sunday, weekly meeting after weekly meeting. We meet. We pray. We talk. We might even fight the odd time. Life and faith ideally shared with each other, but at times hidden from each other.

Relationships…

Whether we like it or not, life really is rooted in relationships.

As Christians, we like to think we have lots to say about relationships. I mean ,we have the Bible, right!?! Yet rather than giving us answers, or an ideal to strive for, the Bible gives us more of what we already know in our own lives: an honest dose of reality. This makes some people uncomfortable. They want answers, not reality. But I like how this quote describes the function of the Bible when we consider the reality of relationships:

“[The Bible] invite[s] us into the complexities and depths of life as we experience it. We can see our own conflicts and problems and may even find comfort in seeing ourselves in the company of these ancient family members of Jesus. If we think our lives are a mess, look at what they went through! And God never abandoned them. God’s grace somehow managed to work through all of their imperfections. Perhaps we can lean, then, on the promise that God’s grace will never leave us, and even trust that God is working through our struggles...We can see reflections of ourselves in their messy and troubled escapades...The twists and turns of relationships and brokenness of being fallen humans are all there in these stories. Yet it is in those broken places that we catch glimpses of God’s grace and healing, of God silently reaching in to touch the wound, and often, of fragile and broken people stepping up to do what is right” (David Garland, Flawed Families of the Bible).

This post is an excerpt from a recent sermon I preached - “Rooted in Relationships”

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