We were never made to be alone.
From the very creation of the world, we see humanity’s need for other humans. In Genesis 2, God creates Adam and places him in paradise. In the story of creation up to this point, everything God has done, He called “good” … the creation of animals, plants, dry land, oceans, sun/moon/stars – all were good. But in Genesis 2:18, for the first time, God says that something was “not good” in paradise – it was “not good for man to be alone.”
The “aloneness” of Adam was not an oversight … it was played out for dramatic effect by the Sovereign Author of all things. God had an “Adam only” universe for a short time to demonstrate to all of us that this was never God’s intention … it was not good for a human to be alone.
This fact is sometimes lost in a version of American Christianity that is so individualized. We think that all we need is our Bibles and a sunset to be all God has called us to be. But Genesis 2 reminds us that we need each other … in fact we were created for each other … in Christ we are RECREATED for each other! Therefore, it is not good for us to be alone.
This fact has been demonstrated in a dramatic way in all our lives over the past 5 months. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to forced closures of gatherings all around the world. People were literally “sent to our rooms” to wait out a virus that is taking its time. As we have “social distanced,” the negative consequences have begun to pile up:
- A recent CDC report showed that in the last month nearly 25% of young adults (age 18-24) have considered suicide.
- Depression is at pandemic levels – impacting literally millions more than the virus ever will.
- Anger issues are on the rise, and we are taking it out on each other via social media. We are no longer relating to one another, we are just “eating” each other one byte at a time.
Why are we struggling so much? Because we were never created to be alone. From the very beginning, it has been God’s intention that we be together.
When we are alone, all our problems seem bigger … other’s motives seem more sinister … and our situations seem unchangeable. When we are alone, and when we focus on “us,” our world shrinks and presses around us like the trash compactor scene in the original “Star Wars” movie. We need a New Hope … one that is found only in Christ, but experienced inside community with other Christ followers.
We need each other.
This is why we gather on Sundays for worship. Many of you have made it a priority to join us in-person or online throughout this pandemic. We have tried collectively to focus our hearts at this time on what is True and Life-giving … and we have tried to do that together. The songs that we sing, the Scripture that we read, and the prayers that we have prayed together are an attempt to collectively encourage each other toward Christ.
This is also why we gather in community (small groups and Sunday School classes). We need to not just gather in rows, but also to gather in circles where we can be known and we can know others so that mutually we can encourage one another to follow Christ.
As a church family, we are trying everything we can to help gather us together in environments that best fit each person’s level of comfort. Online or outside for the more vulnerable populations, or inside in more traditional programming options. Regardless of the particulars of your situation, we believe we need community, and this Sunday we want to draw a roadmap to what that community might look like for all of us this fall.
As you know, this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be continuing our “5 Follows” sermon series, talking about “Following Jesus into Community.” This is SUCH AN IMPORTANT TOPIC in this season, and I hope you all will join us this weekend at 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 (indoors and with programming for children, students, college, and adults), at 8:00 (outside chapel service) or at 10:15 on the livestream (wildwoodchurch.org/live), as we gather together in these spaces to help us follow Jesus. We will be looking at Hebrews 10:24-25 together. After all …
We were never made to be alone.