By PASTOR ERNIE
For the Herald
Posted March 1, 2013
A favorite hymn of my boyhood church was the comforting and exciting, “No! Never Alone.” We thrilled to the description of the harshness of this world and the Master’s great promise never to leave us alone. In the words of the hymn we recalled the love we have in Jesus no matter what the world might do to us; “He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”
Never alone goes beyond our relationship with the Lord God. Humans cannot live as hermits without doing serious damage to their souls. We need each other. In the beginning God made us to need love. He created us in the divided male/female form so that we are not complete in ourselves, but are drawn to each other. He created the family so we would grow up in an atmosphere of caring and acceptance, and learn how to show love. He made us to need groups, towns, states, in order to get along in life. I don’t know if It Takes a Village to Raise a Child but it takes a society to keep us sane.
God made us for each other, yet even when that togetherness is complete we are not whole or satisfied, because we have also a genetic need for belonging with him. In the garden God made the man and woman to walk with him in the cool of the day. He intended that their society be a threesome never just human. After that sweet fellowship was broken by the pair’s rebellion against his love, he sent religious leaders, prophets, poets and others to teach us our need for belonging. Finally, that first Christmas night, he came himself, in his beloved Son, to restore that fellowship for all that choose to come to him. He paid a horrible price to recreate us and to this day continues to offer us his loving presence to fill the special void in our spirits-and do not mistake-the price is only paid for those who will allow his spirit to operate in their lives. God will not push his way into anyone’s life. As he said to John, “I stand at the door (of your heart?) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)
Finally, he gives us the church, where we can learn the lessons of forgiveness and grace that are so important to the heavenly life for which he is preparing us. You see God has a plan for you that goes beyond the bounds of this earth. He wants to finish the job he started in the garden. He still wants to enjoy eternal and glorious fellowship with the people he created at the beginning and re-created in Christ to love and be loved in and by him.
What a wonder it is that the creator has time to be interested in you and me, and gives us so freely of himself. Maybe as we experience his promise never to leave us alone, we will be strengthened to become part of the fulfillment of his promise to others.