The Social Pandemic – breaking the cycle

Notes: Community. Sunday, 14th March 2021

 

Newton’s 1st law – an object in motion will stay in motion at the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force.  We have to apply an external force to break our unhealthy social cycles.

 

We are losing not only the ability, but in some cases the desire, to be together.

 

Community causes us necessary pain, because it takes short term pain to get us out of our collapsed walls and false sense of security and into first safety, and then a process of healing.  Community helps us to push through the pain, because on the other side is safety and healing.

 

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”  And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. Matthew 20:20-24 (ESV)

 

James and John always had ambition and underhandedness in them, but it would never have been exposed if they had stayed at home with their mom.

 

Some of us never have our worst traits, habits and characteristics dealt with because we are not in community, and so they never get exposed so that we can address them.  The deeper the relationship, the deeper the exposure.

 

The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. Revelation 21:15 (NIV)

 

It is equal in length, depth and breadth.  Martin Luther King equates length to our relationship with ourselves, breadth to our relationship with others and height to our relationship with God.

 

Length – Love yourself, learn to love yourself, enjoy yourself, and accept yourself – your tools and your limitations.  You will live content, and free yourself from the curse of striving.  As you love yourself, so love your neighbor.

 

Breadth – Love your neighbor and your enemy (the bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people – GK Chesterton).  You will begin to heal relationally.  Some of our deepest pains come from relationships, and when we love both our neighbor and our enemy, we will begin to heal.

 

Height – love God well.  When you love God well you will add credibility to your life.  If you love God well, you will live as he wants you to live, and be a person of integrity – what you believe and say lines up with how you live. (If you live from Monday morning to Saturday night in the same way that you would live if there was no God, you are a practical atheist – Charles Spurgeon).

 

Community will cause us pain, it takes short term pain to get us out of our collapsed walls and false sense of security.  It will cause exposure, some of our worst traits, habits and characteristics are never dealt with because we are not in community, and so they never get exposed so that we can address them.  But community is the place that relational completeness, equal in length, breadth and height, is formed.  Community begins to allow you to live a complete life.

 

Next steps:

 

  1. Ask for help. If you are struggling in any of the areas we spoke about in the first three weeks, peer relationships & marriages, power relationships & parenting, or decision making & finances, please get hold of us. Let the external force be you reaching out and asking for help.

 

Or

 

  1. Take 1 step out of your comfort zone. I am not asking you to be un-wise, I am not asking you to violate your faith or your conscience.  But take 1 step out of your comfort zone.  Be vulnerable with someone.  Be a safe space for someone.  Accept an invitation from someone.  Push into a relationship.  Push into community.