This week has been interesting. Every time I turned around, it seemed as though I was reminded about a characteristic that is common to all human beings. It has nothing to do with physical characteristics or educational success, not about social context or technological accessibility. This characteristic is the need to belong. People need to belong to, well, something. Being a part of tribes or nations or a global community is important, but it isn’t enough.
People seek to belong in more personally connected ways. We join team sports and gyms, from baseball, softball and volleyball to body building, yoga and tai chi, from tennis, racket ball and hand ball to cycling, swimming and running; we support our academic institutions with financial our support and attendance at athletic contests. We join clubs of every description: gardening, bridge playing, flower arranging, collecting a million different “collectables”, antiquing, ghost hunting, cooking, dog or cat breeding, fishing, boating, photography, flying model airplanes, building and flying kites, shelling and the list goes on and on and on.
Yet, even with all this, something is missing. All of these activities cannot provide that true sense of belonging that we humans seek, need and covet. We need human connect, physical as well as intellectual and verbal. We also seek, need and covet a relationship with something greater than ourselves. Folks look for it in various religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Mormonism, Adventists and hundreds if not thousands of smaller sects. One thing most of these religions have in common is community (belonging). Another is a set of truths and/or a written source for the faith tradition: i.e. Hebrew Scriptures, Greek Scriptures (together the Christian Bible), Quran, Upanishads, Vedas, Upanishads, Vinaya Pitaka, Book of Mormon, Kabbalah, Kojiki, Guru Granth Sahib, and Tao Te Ching. Most of these faiths and their scriptures agree on one tenet: the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
At Jeffersontown Christian Church, we have a place of our belonging, if you will, which also defines who we are: the Table. It is a symbol of God’s presence in our midst, a symbol of grace in the world and a symbol of community gathered for worship which is open to any and all of God’s children. So when any of us are missing during worship, we are diminished as that community. Be present at the table to share the Lord.
Posted on Tue, March 6, 2018
by Doug Meister