For a long time, I thought the first bad thing that happens in the Bible is the Fall of Adam and Eve. I mean, that is a pretty big deal. God creates the world, and everything is going swimmingly. Then, the serpent shows up, starts talking to Eve, and soon they are chowing down on fruit and realizing they are naked. Before the Fall there was perfection. The Fall ruined that perfection.
But actually, the Fall is not the first thing that went wrong in the Bible. There was one imperfection before the serpent reared his deceptive head. God creates everything: the sun, the moon, the waters, the land. He creates plants, fish, birds, and animals, and after all of that, God says it was good.
But then God creates man and in Genesis 2, God’s response was not immediately, this is good. In fact, God says the opposite.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
~ Genesis 2:18
It is not good. This isn’t the way it should be. It is not good for man (read: mankind) to be alone.
I think that encapsulates what has been so hard about these past two months. While we are doing our best to help the health care systems, slow down the spread of a pandemic, and just try to do our part the best way we can, it hasn’t been good to be alone. Turns out, community is really important!
I’ve also heard certain churches fearing what comes after this all passes. Church is easier than ever to attend right now. Just sit down, click a link on a laptop, or pull up a website on your smart TV and boom! Church. Generally, as things get easier, people don’t voluntarily go back to the harder ways of the past.
Well, even though our online services our good, they are only good in this context. Something is missing. So, I’m not worried our communities will stay at home for church when all this passes. We will desire to be with one another again! It’s not good for us to be alone. We’re not wired that way.
Now, maybe none of us are surprised by this. In fact, it is entirely possible you’re reading this right now and asking, Who is this guy? Why am I wasting my time reading Kevin’s obvious ramblings?
I guess I’m pointing this out for two reasons:
1) Be excited for real church to happen again. It may not be anytime soon, and we may have to do things differently a few more times before we are all back together … but be excited. It’s gonna be great!
2) Don’t forget about your community right now. Just because we can’t all gather together, that does not mean we can’t help people not feel community right now. Call someone. Make a card. Visit a backyard. Be smart, but put in some effort to bring community to someone else – especially those who are vulnerable and must remain more isolated than most.
At Immanuel, I have been doing reflections on the 10 Commandments every week. One thing that has stood out is how communal these 10 Commandments are. They were not made primarily for individual morality, but for communal richness and Godly character. Even God’s laws were for us as a body. God’s heart is for His people to be together, and as we continue on in this season, let us please not forget the importance of each other.