Human beings have been created for relations. The bible shows enough evidence about God’s intentions to stablish relations with the humanity. The human’s history is about relations and the reality of the sin reflects the broken relations of everything, broken relations with others human, broken relations with the creation, broken relations with himself and broken relations with his creator. The only way to restore the humanity is getting over the broken relations and moving forward in direction to the God’s kingdom.
Dr. Bernie Siegel, Homemade, May 1989, says that single men are jailed more often, earn less, have more illnesses, and die at a younger age than married men. Married men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer. Women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers. Married or not, relationships keep us alive. Let see the biblical perspective about relations.
Psalm 147: 1-12,
This happened about 600 years before Jesus came to the earth and this passage contains a good example of the complexity of the human relations. The Babylonians destroyed the city of Jerusalem and took the people away to Babylon. Babylon was a country east of Jerusalem. They made them live there for 70 years. They were exiles, (they lived away from their own country). This happened because God’s people did not love him nor obey him. So, God punished (or hurt) them. But after 70 years, God destroyed Babylon and brought his people home. He built Jerusalem again and made his people feel happy again. Some of them had broken hearts. This is a way to say that they felt very, very sad (or depressed). Other people had injuries. Perhaps someone had hit them or cut them with a knife. Really, God did not do these things himself. The psalm means that he made them happen through other people. Broken stories, destruction but also restoration, all is included in the story of the Israel relations with God, with themselves as people, and with other countries.
Isaiah 40: 21-31
The image contained in the text of Isaiah is a powerful metaphor about relations between God and his people, it’s a new chapter about tensions, disappointments, and struggles. God is in control of the universe but also is closed to humanity. God is using his power in favor of Israel, keeping a relation of care, love, and protection. God is a father, not a supranatural force, or a mistic essence, is a person, one who oversees a relation with Israel, He is open to care of His lovely people. In opposite, Israel is going far from the God’s will, taking their own decisions, and keeping their own mistakes. Isaiah appeals to references as Jacob because considers the importance of the incarnational understanding of the concepts, the Hebrew language usually refers to concrete expression of the reality more than theoretical ideas as the Greek does. That is an important thing to consider when we interpret the Old Testament in comparison with the New Testament. It means, from the Hebrew perspective, God is a concrete person, an incarnational reality, not a power or a force, is Someone who exist in relation with everything that He has created.
1 Corinthians 9: 16-23
For the early church, the dynamic to settle down implied a challenge in terms of changes of attitudes, behaviors, and comprehension of the piety also a lot of gaps about how to assume the new life contained in the gospel. Apostle Paul exposed his own experience as a leader trying to lever up a consistent community but suffering for himself the implications of the religious tradition, the weight of the roman cultures and the influence of the paganism into the church. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians describes the states of the leadership, including some characteristic as lack of commitment and comfort with the status Quo. He decided to incarnate a life’s projects capable to reflect the God’s Kingdom according the taught of Jesus. The relations derivatives of this project were a deep changed in favor of a more committed practice of community not just as individual but as people of God, spreading the good news with the word but also with the deeds, the sings of the Holy Spirit. Paul did exactly what he received from Jesus, and he incarnated this new understanding of the relations and taught it in this way to all the new churches stablished during the beginning of the early church.
Mark 1: 29-39
In the gospel of Mark, we found a powerful story which includes a lot of concretes relational expressions. We can check the interest of Jesus to keep His powerful connections with His disciples as Simon and Andres, even Jesus felt a deeper sympathy for the pain of Peter’s mother-in-law, and He healed her. Crowds came to Jesus to be healed and to be drove out of demons but the main motivation for our Lord was to keep His close relation with His Father the Eternal God through praying. Then His disciples came to Him and Jesus decide to keep going in His mission preaching the gospel and healing people. We can identify a strong commitment of Jesus with His disciples and with the people around him expressed and the way that He was every time attending their demands not to manipulate or take advantages of His popularity, moreover, Jesus was able to feel the vulnerability of the people around Him and He took concretes actions in favor of them as expression of His father’s love. The same God who loved to his people in the Old Testament, the creator, the savior of Israel, now was walking with the crowds, sharing their needs, and been exposed to the worst of the human conditions all in favor of the God’s project to recreate everything in a new reality.
God is more than a concept, Jesus is beyond of any theory, God is someone who love us, and Jesus is the incarnational expression of God in our midst. Because of His love we are saved, because His attitudes of compassion and mercy, we can feel everyday His presence amid the worst battles spiritual or materials. In a world where relations are destroyed frequently due the envy or the evil, in the middle of wars or famines, the individualism and the consumerism, we are called as Jesus taught, as Paul wrote to live to proclaim a new world, one where the solidarity and the peace are the expression of God’s kingdom. Sometimes it is too hard live new relations based in respect, love and compassion even into our families or into our churches because the weight of the sin is still affecting the God’s plan for our lives but we can resist every time that we can the temptation to destroy, to do harm and instead, to be instruments of love but not just through words rather deed, acts, and signs of the Holy Spirit.
The family matter, according to the General Social Survey (Families), of the 11 million people aged, 55 and older in Canada in 2017, 7.5 million were part of a couple. Five million, or 7 in 10, aged 55 and older were in a long-lasting relationship of 30 years or more. Long-lasting relationships were more common among married couples than among those who lived common-law. People in long-lasting relationships were, on average, 68 years of age. Long-lasting couples were likely to have at least one child. 92% of persons in unions of 30 years or longer had at least one child. 76% of persons in unions of less than 30 years had at least one child. Half of adults aged 75 and older who were part of a couple had been in that relationship for 55 years or more.
Our evangelism must be relational as God is, the bible tells us about our God keeping a longer relation with the human being, a relation based in His faithfulness, His mercy, and His promises. Jesus incarnates the relational project of God being a friend for His disciples, been a healer for the vulnerable and been our savior in the cross. How can we be aware enough about our call to be relational? keeping each other and loving not just our friends but the entire humanity. Specially in this time where the love is frozen for the indifference, the individualism, and the vanity, we must come back to the simplicity of the gospel keeping relations of transparency, authenticity and true. If we adopt these concrete actions in our personal circle, we can affect positively others and provoke in our people questions for which the gospel is the answers.
The love doesn’t exist just a concept, who uses the word in this way is just evading the concretion of the real love expressed in actions, in deeds, in signs. All Christian must come ambassadors of transformed relations, creating opportunities to build a new understanding about to be a friend, family, to be a Christian closely as Jesus did.