People Aren't The Most Important
Now, I know that you are probably already like “what the heck, this guy hates people?” so hold on and let me explain.
At the beginning of time was, well... there's no such thing. Time is something that we have made up simply to keep track of this thing that we call life. At the beginning of everything was God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. Us Christians refer to this “triple threat” as the Holy Trinity or the Triune God. This is our evidence for community. God was in community and fellowship with Himself and therefore we are to be in community as well. Now, not a single one of us is God. We are separate and apart from God. However, God sent His Son down to die for us, take our sins on the cross, and raise from the dead so that we can have eternal life. This is a topic for another day perhaps.
When Jesus died, He didn't stay in the ground, but instead went back to sit at the right hand of the Father. To be back in community. Right where He belonged.
Whether you believe in this Triune God or not, I think it is safe to say that His model for community is quite beautiful. In fact, when Jesus walked this earth, He didn't do His mission alone, but instead chose to invoke twelve followers to live and breathe His mission as well.
Don't you see it?
Not much more digging is needed to be convinced that community with others is good.
God said at the end of each day of creation that His work was “good”, yet after the day of creating mankind He labeled such to be “very good”.
It's my heart's desire to help you see that the creation of mankind was labeled and continues to be labeled as “very good”. Yes, you're right, there are a lot of awful people in this world doing terrible things, but then again... aren't you one of them? I know I am.
There is this beautiful passage in the Bible (John chapter eight) where the religious scholars of the day tried to get Jesus to declare this adulterous woman as worthy to be stoned based on her sin. While He knew that what she did was a sin, she also knew that these men were calling for her to be punished while not admitting their own sin. Jesus says in verse seven “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” (HCSB) They realized that not a single one of those so-called religious folk was without sin. Therefore, they left, Jesus said to the woman to stop sinning and go about with her day.
Are people good? Yes and no. We were created to be very good. We were created to be in community with God in the garden, but sin entered the heart of mankind and we screwed that up.
The further away from the initial findings of my brain tumors in November of 2021, the closer towards God that I find myself running. I have seen many aspects of my life change in response to this, but the one I am sharing with you today is community.
As the title states, people aren't the most important, but that's only because Jesus is the most important. As my hat tips further to death, a desire for community grows more ferocious. My wife, whom God has blessed me with in marriage eight years ago today, my parents who are happily married and an incredible example of a faith-filled marriage, my sister who is a mere eight-teen months older than me, my brothers who were adopted into the family when they were nine and eleven (I think, forgive me if this is wrong) even though they seem to not want a deep relationship with me, I still care about them. It's going out with friends, worshiping with our church, and seeing the smile on our friend's children. Gathering around a table for a meal, grabbing a drink because happy hour is a fun time, writing songs with my friend Braden that likely will never be released (though are good enough to be), smoking from my grandfather's old tobacco pipe while my friend sits across from me smoking his, going to the movies with friends, consistently losing at board games (even though I love them and usually am the one that suggests them), going camping with longtime friends, and ever too much so grabbing coffee at Dunn Brothers in Coralville, Iowa, even just to say hello to the workers there, all of whom I call my friends.
You see, community with other people is extremely important. Yes, it can be exhausting at times when the calendar fills up, but at the end of my life, I would love for people to remember me for my love for Jesus and my love for people. God created people, God created love, those two things are consistently vying to be melded together.