One word: Together

We use this word in all kinds of ways…

Sometimes it’s a happy word, “My friend from across town and I had lunch together the other day.”

Sometimes it’s full of loss, “My spouse and I are not together anymore.”

Sometimes it’s a word of hope, “We should have a get-together.”

Sometimes it’s a question to be answered, “Can we get together?”

Together is a word full of relationship; it is a word that is between one thing and another, or more importantly, between two or more people. It plays a special role in the faith and life of people because there is no island of solitude where we live without the presence, influence, or loss, of relationships. Togetherness is so much a part of who we are, that rather than see ourselves as autonomous people, its better to see our identities as made up of our engagement with others. Since it is so essential to our lives, I wonder how people can experience togetherness in greater and healthier terms?

One of the beautiful and aspirational stories about the early church, was their determination to gather and share what they had (Acts 2:44-45). While trying to replicate this behavior today may not be appropriate, it didn’t last long even for the early church, it emphasizes an essential and spiritual quality about being together. God intended from the beginning for human beings to navigate the ups and downs of life in community.  Yet, it was never God’s intention for human beings to do it alone. Without God, every human relationship is a give and take agreement. We live in agreements of mutuality and reciprocity. God, however, is the only source that can give and is never forced to take anything. God gives freely. So, God can interact on our behalf to bring people together without taking something from us. I think the easiest place this can be seen is in the life of Christ.

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.” (Ephesians 2:14-15)

Togetherness is a quality of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, because in him, God joins humanity to gather us to himself. We are brought together through the gift of God, and we live together by the grace of God’s love.

How might one who believes in Christ, see relationships differently because of Jesus’ gift of togetherness? Might we discover that togetherness is as essential to who we are as any other quality we possess? 

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