Grace and peace to you from our relational God!
I have been thinking a lot this week about the importance of connection and how good and meaningful relationship is so central to our mental health and total well-being.
Brené Brown defines connection, “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Because of the challenge of making in-person connections over the last few years, too much energy has been depleted from us and between us. By God’s grace we did find ways to stay connected but for many of us the connections were not all that we hoped for and needed. We have struggled as a result.
We were created for relationship, for meaningful connection. Already in Genesis 2 God said, “It’s not good for man [or all adults, youth and children] to be alone; I’ll make him [them] a helper, a companion.” (2.18). We were created for relationship, for connection!
We all need helpers and companions on our life journey, and on our journey of faith. We are made in the image of God, and God, as the story of Bible reveals so clearly, is a relational God. God is Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— and trinity is a relationship of love, a flow of love being poured out and received. God invites us into that flow of love, with God and with each other.
Jesus modeled a life-giving way to be connected. He had a rhythm of life that included time alone and time in the company of others. He made room for many in his life but also had smaller more intimate circles of friends. He gave much and received much as he shared life in relationship with others.
As more in-person connection is possible again, opportunity to be renewed through relationship is an invitation before us. Is there a relationship you need to initiate again? Or a friendship you need to catch up on? Or a peer/support group you need to start or re-start? Or a counseling relationship you need to begin? Is it time to get back to in-person worship? is it time for coffee and conversation at church again? (See announcement below about that possibility!)
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (John 13.34)
To love as Jesus invites us to love is about meaningful connection and relationship where we gain sustenance and strength. May we both offer and receive this kind love and connection!