Fellowship (& COVID-19)
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)
But it was not good yet! God made man a home, provided for his food, his drink. He gave man meaningful work and no doubt loved man very much – but still man was not good yet. What more could God add?
The answer was not in addition, rather it was in subtraction. Man was too complete.
“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Gen. 2:21, 22).
First God made man incomplete. Then He made from that missing piece another creature like Himself, like the man, yet different. They both felt their incompleteness, and, says the scripture, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5; Eph. 5:31). Only after this did God say, it was good – in fact, He said “it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31).
We are made… deliberately… not to be complete in ourselves. Before God made woman He looked at Adam and said plainly, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18). No animal or pet creature of any kind would do (v. 19-20). Man required relationship with his own species.
And so “fellowship” was born from the beginning… God with man, man with woman, parents with children, and peer with peer. Solomon, the wisest of all our species, observed “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17), and the psalmist sang “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).
And so now, in physical distancing and self-isolation, it is not good to be alone. But again, the Christian truly is never alone. Christ is to the believer “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24). “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). Indeed, He is very near, as Paul cited the Cretan philosopher Epimenides: “…in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
If it helps in remembering this I see no harm in reserving a living room chair for Him, putting out a place at the table for Him. Chatting with Him as you go about your chores…
This is not madness. You are not talking to yourself, but to God. Is this not “praying always” (Eph. 6:18), “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) as scripture enjoins.
“I am with you always,” said Jesus, “to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20). God… ever-present… in all the rooms of your home… and in all the room in your heart.