This past weekend’s retreat theme was focused on connections. Connections vertically between us and God, and connections horizontally between each other. Pastor Russ Whitfield gave us four sermons in which he began with God’s design, then the Son’s desire, followed by the Holy Spirit’s desire, and ended with the Church’s design.
Aside from being reminded that community is essential to Christian identity, growth, and unity, as well as befriending and reaching outwardly, I was struck by two things: God gives man community before he faces temptation, and signs of misconnect and disconnect are autonomy, independence, isolation, things that endorse all of my decisions, and anything unbiblical. And the source of such disconnect lies within ourselves, for we are corrupt. I’m learning more and more that real, genuine community is a vital gift from God, one that should be pursued and cherished at the cost of our personal idols…and I love my idols. But what’s the gain? What’s the point? Do I really want to witness and experience God’s grace that covers the sins in my life and in the lives of others? Is that really worth my time and energy? I pray for spiritual transformation that I may yearn for such things.