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Author Topic: CONNECTION/NETWORK  (Read 89 times)

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Offline JERRY C

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« on: Sat Mar 14, 2015 - 21:45:11 »

                Early in Scripture we read of the Almighty looking for His walking-buddies in the Garden.  But, they are hiding from Him.  Separation has become a new reality because of sin.  Fear results.  Blame begins.  The man, Adam, uses his woman, Eve, to dodge the bullet of guilt, unsuccessfully.  The Garden gate is locked shut, with the sinful pair outside, alone, to face a dark, cold, fallen world.  Gone are the intimate, relaxing, enjoyable strolls with the Creator.

                A “hermit” is an oddball, an unnatural oddity.  We want and need “connection” and “network”.  Modern man has the “world wide web” connecting him as never before and widening the gulf at the same time.  We text instead of talking.  We surf instead of stroll with lovers, or sit with friends.  Somewhere inside, deep within, we long to get back to what we lost in Eden.

                Many a Bible text references man’s desire to “see God”  --  to regain that face-time with our Father.  An old hymn embodies that yearning – “I come to the garden alone … and He walks with me; and He talks with me …” – reviving the memory of our first parents’ fellowship with Him!

                We find “connection”, with family – up the stream of time with parents, down the stream with children; around us in this space-time continuum are siblings, even cousins.  And there are “others” – friends, college buddies, frat brothers, clubs we join, organizations to which we belong and within which we form bonds.

                We look for lost identity in ethnic and national roots – “German”  “Irish”  “Scottish” … “Vikings”?!  But, sometimes, this becomes something ugly and dark, creating division – “NAZI”  “ISIS”.  (or, a new one – PEGIDA: Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident: PEGIDA: Patriotische Europäer Gegen Die Islamisierung des Abendlandes).

                Or, we might find “connection” in our religion – I think of the Muslim-Hindu partition of India into Pakistan.  On a smaller scale, the Baptists and the _________ bicker and bite, devouring one another.  If we were truly drawing nearer to God, then we would be drawing nearer to each other?!

                In the hours before His Crucifixion, the Savior pleaded with Heaven – “… one, as we are one…” – for the “connection”, the unity, the fellowship, the comradery of his followers, both those who walked with Him, and for all of us, centuries later!  His apostle, Paul, echoed these sentiments in writings to the divided, divisive Corinthian believers.  He says they are acting like babies.  They needed to grow up.  They needed to put their arms around each other instead of holding others at “arm’s length”. (with creedal orthodoxy?!)

                But, we continue to separate, even as we seek to be “IN” – A “band of brothers” kills an enemy they do not even know.  Unions are formed for the common good of workers, but selfishness still reigns, not altruism.  “Royals” elevate themselves, trying to escape the cold darkness, and trample upon the “commoners” as only so many foot stones.  Harry Potter had the “Muggles”!  India had the caste system.  The South had Jim Crow.  We just can’t seem to get back to Eden?!

                In family we can sometimes see a glimmer of Heaven.  The Book says “children are a reward … a heritage from the Lord…”  We are taught to pray “our Father…” seeing God as our protector and provider and parent.  How many times has a soldier’s last words on his lips been “mother…” as he releases his grip on this world and turns to his Father?!

                There is another “connection”, even deeper, that foreshadows Paradise regained.  Innumerable is the group of fallen soldiers, with “her” picture in their pocket, or hand, who murmured with their last breath, “…tell her that I love her…”  In the Garden, before sin spawned separation, God noted, “it is not good for man to be alone….” And the man named her “Eve”! exclaiming, “… at last, flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone… woman…”  In family, we have “connections” up, down, out – but, at the core, at the center, at the heart, there is ones “mate” – the one we call “spouse”!  There is “knowledge” there in a cold, dark world like no light since Eden, and like none until Heaven.  Truly blessed is one who finds his mate in this sin-cursed, blighted, fallen world.  He is not “alone”.  They are “BFF’s”!  They have “connection”.

                In college, we had a secret society, the AIFAM! (mafia, spelled backwards)  That sounded way cooler than JMSB. (the initials of the four founders)  But, we left that behind, decades ago.  We became J&M, M&W, S&L, B&J.  Adam had his Eve.  Romeo had his Juliet.  Jerry has his Melanie.  One man – one woman – for life!  This is a picture of Heaven, Paradise Regained!  (I recently saw the CELS on FB, who will, no doubt, move on to C&?, E&?, L&S, S&? – some of them already have!)

                I have seen, at a couple of weddings, a ring-blessing ceremony.  It is rare, because rarely is it possible, in our times.  Four grandfathers, each married 50+ years, joined hands over the rings of their grandchildren, soon to be united as husband and wife, and together prayed for God’s blessing on those who were to wear those bands of gold.  Over 200 years of successful marital harmony were represented in that circle of men!  Their wives smiled upon this from their seats.  May it not be so rare!

                Hell is darkness, isolation, pain, separation, ALONE.  C.S. Lewis wrote of “The Great Divorce”?!  The images of anxious aloneness in “What Dreams May Come” are hauntingly frightening.  The Rich Man begged for Lazarus to warn his brothers!

                We live in a fallen world.  A solo martin returned to our martin box with the other purple martin pairs, for years.  It was a yearly reminder of a little boy’s sin.  He was a good shot with a rifle and took out the other one, in flight!  Wow!  No, SAD.  But, such is the world in which we struggle.  I sometimes think of my “chick” and our flight as “two sparrows in a hurricane”.  So far we have evaded and avoided cats and impish boys, thank the Lord.  But, I can barely wait for Heaven, since it will only be a better “connection”!

                But, there is a spiritual reunion within reach.  We are “the bride of Christ”.  The Holy Spirit of God takes up residence in our heart?!  Wow!  Back to Eden.  Our fellowships should spark this?!  Let’s not forsake them?  Eternal-life is light, fellowship, full-awareness, “aha!!”  The “connection”, long ago lost, will be revived.  Facetime with the Creator will be available for all, forever and always.  “…but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” John writes!  As Jesus said, “… there are many rooms in my Father’s house…”  And, we can each have a deluxe suite!  As Audio Adrenaline (Big House) sings, “It's a big, big house with lots and lots a room;  A big, big table with lots and lots of food; A big, big yard where we can play football; A big, big house it's my Father’s house”  My wife commented on the PBS series, “Downton Abbey”, that “they sure do eat in a lot of scenes…” as we watched yet another formal dining room scene with all the crystal, silverware …  But, you must know that we are going to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb!  D.A. doesn’t have anything on that!  I’m not too much on formal dining; but, I do like gathering the family around the dinner table, laughing and feasting.  And, I do NOT like eating alone.  Let’s plan on meeting there?!

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« on: Sat Mar 14, 2015 - 21:45:11 »