Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, February, 2012

posted Jan 30, 2012, 4:55 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jan 30, 2012, 4:55 PM ]
The 17th century poet and preacher, John Donne, suggests that, "No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main."
A man who was grieving the death of his wife found that more and more he just chose to be alone by himself. He dropped out of his worshiping community and curtailed all of the activities that he and his wife had shared together for so many years.
He quit socializing at work and returned straight home day after day to an  empty house. Increasingly, he kept completely to himself. He would turn down invitations from his friends and co-workers. All of his leisure time was now spent watching television or working on projects in his shop in the basement.
His contact with people kept dwindling until friends became alarmed that he might  live out his life as a recluse. One day an old friend came by to visit and to extend an invitation for supper. They sat in comfortable chairs by a warm fireplace.
Finally, the visitor offered an invitation to dinner the following evening. He encouraged his neighbor to come, telling him, "You may need to allow others to share your pain."
The man responded that he figured he was better off without being around other people. After all, others only seemed to remind him of all that he had lost. "And  besides," he said, "it's just too difficult for me to get out and about anymore."
They sat silently together for a while, watching the wood burn in the fireplace.  Then the visitor did an interesting thing. He took down some tongs from a rack by the fireplace, reached into the glowing fire, pulled out a flaming ember and laid it down by itself on the hearth. “Look closely now at that coal,” he said. "That's you."

  The men sat silently watching the red-hot ember. It slowly lost its glow. Neither man looked away as the once-hot coal gradually transformed into a crusty, black lump. After some moments, the previously withdrawn widower turned to his companion and said, "I get the message, my friend. I'll be over tomorrow evening."

We cannot survive life in any healthy way by ourselves. The leaf needs the branch. The branch needs the trunk. The trunk needs the roots. And the roots need the rest of the tree. Likewise, it is our interconnectedness by which we find true life and vitality.

As St. Paul observed in Romans 12:3-4, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” We are not intended to go it alone; we definitely need each other.
This is obviously true in the Church, God’s body of chosen people. As Peterson puts it in The Message, “Each of us finds our meaning and function as part of his body” (Rom. 12:4). Don’t miss out or give up on that integral connection.
George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries