He said he’d given up on relationships with people, the only relationships he now had were relationships with his animals. He was wounded, and despairing. For a long time he’d been searching for a relationship that would give him life, but he had always been left wounded, and eventually became so frustrated he simply gave up. It was what had landed him in the mental hospital. Even without saying a word, he pleaded for pity, for compassion.
It’s a story that’s all too common striving for a relationship that will give life, only to be left wounded, and frustrated. It’s a story that has its origin all the way back in the Garden. God, the author and giver of all life, made the first human creature to be a relational being. So when a suitable helpmate couldn’t be found among the animals, God caused a deep sleep to fall over the human being and separated the one into two complementary beings, one male and the other female. And then God joined the two together again in a life-giving relationship so they could share with one another the life that God pours out upon humankind.
But sin entered the picture, and the primary life-giving relationship, the relationship with God, was decimated. And with the primary life-giving relationship broken, sin spread to human relationships as well, until brother was murdering brother. It’s the problem that’s been haunting us ever since struggling for a relationship with another human being, a relationship that will give and enhance life, only to have our hopes dashed by sin.
The Maasai people of east Africa have a creation myth. According to it, God created the Maasai people, and then let them down to earth on an umbilical cord. But one night the hyena chewed through the umbilical cord and it popped loose. And ever after they’ve been trying to reattach that cord. When the missionary arrived, his message became, “And I’ve come to tell you about the one who does His name is Jesus Christ!”
But the missionary’s message was not just one for him to spread, and not just one for the Maasai people of east Africa, it’s a message for you and for me, and for all of humankind to hear and to spread as well: that Jesus Christ, Himself God, was born into this world as one of us, and lived among us, and died and rose for us, to break the power of sin the power to separate us from the author and giver of all life, a separation that leaves only death in its wake. But now, by the power of His death and resurrection, Jesus has broken the power of sin, and holds out to us a gift free for the taking of a renewed relationship with the author and giver of life, a renewed life-giving relationship. And that’s the Gospel! And with our primary life-giving relationship restored, we can pour life into our human relationships as well, making them life-giving too, so that life may abound through life-giving relationships among God’s people.
It’s a message that’s been entrusted to us: that forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with the God of life is available to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus holds it out to us as a free gift a gift called the grace of God all we have to do is turn to Him and receive it. It’s given so that none will any longer have to turn to animals in their search for a life-giving relationship. For every relationship rooted and grounded in Christ is rooted and grounded in love, and is a life-giving relationship. God bless you, as you turn to Christ and receive the forgiveness of your sin and the renewal of your life-giving relationship with the living God!
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