Connection Not Isolation
By David Jenkins
Phillip Keller wrote an insightful book, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”, written from firsthand experience as a shepherd. Loved it. In it he describes how sheep easily put themselves in danger. When a sheep isolates itself, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it makes itself an open target to predators - wolves, cougars, thieves. I thought about this in light of our present challenges with this coronavirus.
You and I are better, stronger, safer when we are exercising Christ’s love together. If you have not been meeting in the Word or in fellowship with your Connection Group, if you have not worshiped with your church family online or on campus, you are in danger of predators . . . being spiritually abducted or perhaps even devoured.
King David was aware of his enemies. He describes how one pursues him “to tear my soul like a lion and dragging me away” (Psalm 7 NASB), and another like “young lions hiding in ambush” (Psalm 17). The Apostle Peter reminds us “be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NASB).
People are struggling all over in our city and our neighborhoods. You can list the reasons as well as I could, but I want to remind you we should see ourselves in a different light. We should see ourselves in the light of God's Word. We should remember that brothers and sisters in Christ are trying to keep their heads up just like you are.
I know distancing helps keep us healthy, physical distancing, not social distancing. God made us for community. That's why we need to hold tight together as His church. Not isolate ourselves.
We feel this on Sunday, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122:1). Our time together in worship (online or on campus), in the Word with our Connection Group, and in fellowship, are essentials for all of us. They keep the lies and intrusions of our enemy at bay.
What predator is lurking at the door? What friend can you call? Who in your circle of family and friends has been missing? Who needs a little face-to-face time with you at the park or front yard?
Connecting through worship, the Word, and fellowship reminds us we are better, stronger and safe in Christ. Encourage each other to stay connected. Avoid isolation. Avoid the predators.