The Loss of Community
I began a new series of teachings on Mother’s Day at CCEsco called “Reconcile.” The series has grown out of a number of conversations, encounters and times alone in thought and prayer that have lead me to some great [new] realizations for myself and those that I have the privilege of leading at CCE. Primarily I’ve been impacted by the importance of this “ministry of reconciliation” that each of us as believers has been brought into by Christ.
This last week [especially] I’ve been meditating upon what humanity lost in the fall, and how those things are restored to us in salvation. Very little exegesis is needed to identify and account for what was lost in the fall. At the close of Genesis 2, man and his wife were naked and unashamed; 7 verses later everything had changed.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
With the fist sin shame entered in, and the glorious oneness experienced by the first humans was devastated. With sin came the loss of community and ever since man has been trying to restore that which was lost by his own sinful efforts. Those efforts took the shape of fig leaves in Genesis 3; today it’s all manner of sinful behavior which is practiced with the fleeting hope of satisfying the inner longing for that which was lost in the fall.
The second loss of the fall is illustrated by man’s response to God’s presence in the garden after he and Eve had sinned, and by God’s question to Adam in Genesis 3:8-9.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Adam and Eve hid from God because of the shame of sin, and God identifies the separation between He and humanity in His inquiry, “Adam, where are you?” Sin caused separation between man and God, the loss of communion.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
I highlight these losses—of community and communion—as I’ve come to realize that by their loss man is left yearning for them to be restored. Although man may not be able to adequately verbalize his want, it is I believe, the deepest desire of every human soul. We were created to live in genuine oneness with one another and fellowship with God. Of course, this that was lost at the fall is restored by the cross; and we, ministers of reconciliation/restoration, are given the privilege of reintroducing the lost to communion and community.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20