I’m going to just put in a good word here for community, fellowship, the family of God. We are a family, a tribe, a community. People who know Jesus Christ are no longer alone, no longer orphans. We have been adopted, we now belong to a family, a kingdom. You are a child of God.
Naturally it is a bit crazy, a bit of a dysfunctional family with many divisions and conflicts. However, it’s also a huge family. So if your aunts and uncles are making you crazy, go hang out with your third cousins across town. They love you too.
I’ve probably just annoyed a half dozen pastors who hate the concept of “church shopping,” but I’m telling you, you must put your own relationship with the Lord first, and seek out fellowship with other healthy believers, some of who will give you what you need.
I want to reinforce that truth because all this covid19 stuff has just taken a huge toll on individuals and families, and the devastation is absolutely heart breaking to me, on a community wide level and a personal one. The elderly are isolated, people with mental health problems are isolated, developing and growing children are isolated, people wrestling with addiction are isolated. Add in some “cancel culture” where we try to build bonds not over blood, roles, or family ties, but rather ideology and politics, and we just have a recipe for complete disaster.
It’s one thing to want some intermittent distance from your family of origin because they are really toxic. It’s another thing entirely to “cancel culture” your family over masking directives, politics, or something else as equally foolish. And that reality is going on all around me.
My state Health Dept keeps sending out these alerts about the 100 fold increase in domestic violence, child abuse, addiction, suicide, mental disorders, and it’s like, I know! I already know these truths really well. It is your policies causing the upsweep and there is darn near nothing we can do about any of it.
Do I believe the “cure” for covid 19 is going to turn out to have been way worse then the disease? Oh, you betcha! The social ills we have caused, the economic harm, and the delayed medical care for the ordinary things that will kill you on a normal day is going to be just phenomenal. When the dust clears, the carnage we have caused will be far greater than the damage caused by this virus.
Spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and socially, what we are doing to people is about the worse possible thing we can do, isolating them from one another. This isn’t just happening in a literal physical context, but in an emotional and spiritual one too.
Isolation is actually a form of torture. How do you break people down? You isolate and separate them from their support systems, and therefore weaken them. Cut off their lines of communication so they can’t organize and encourage one another, and you’re now in control.
I’m actually a loner, an outlier, bit of an introvert, quite content to be alone and yet even I know I must drag myself out, fight for some connection with others, refuse to isolate, insist on some form of corporate worship, and hopefully some ensuing Christian familial relationships that help people to stay connected within their communities.
It is literally essential, a matter of life and death for many, and not something to be casually disregarded as much of our political leadership has done, and sadly much of our churchian leadership, too.
One of the best cures for isolation, rejection, depression, financial woes, and assorted family hurts, is to reach out to other people, to sacrificially love someone else who is hurting. Not only does it deflate the enemy, it breaks something free spiritually, it reconnects you to your purpose, and it takes your eyes off of your own troubles and places them back on Him.