The Importance of Relational Connections
Read 2 Timothy 4:9-15
“Make Every effort to come to me soon.”
Paul was one familiar with being in prison. Some of his most significant letters were written in the cell of a Roman prison. But this time was different. Unlike the epistle of Philippians, which was also written in prison, on this occasion he was not anticipating any release. On this occasion he knows that his execution is assured and so writes in verse 6 that “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come”. This time Paul felt the weight of his situation. He was alone and he needed some fellowship. So, he asks Timothy, who was his closest co-worker, to “make every effort to come to me.” The phraseology used by Paul suggest a deep sense of urgency in his request. In this hour of suffering, Paul deeply needed a friend by his side.
God has created us to live in community and relationships. From the very beginning he states that it is not good for man to be alone. We need companionship. In this time of social distancing, there is a great danger in relational isolation. In many ways complete relational isolation is a greater threat to our overall health than the coronavirus. As the crisis continues, not only does it pose a threat to our physical health, it also poses a threat to our emotional and spiritual health. So how do we maintain our relational connectiveness and needs in a time of social distancing? Let me suggest to you several things. First, be intentional. We need to be more intentional and deliberate it maintaining connection with others. We need to develop a plan for connecting with others. Second, be creative. Connect with others on facetime or skype or some other form of social of media that not only lets you talk with them but see them as well. Go on a picnic with another couple where you drive in different vehicles to a park but set up your chairs further away than six feet. While maintaining social distance you can still visit in person. Have an outdoor barbeque with another couple outside but keep your distance from one another. Be creative in how you can get connect with others but still protect everyone’s health. Third, be committed. It now takes work and effort to connect with others. But be committed to call several people a day just to visit with them, not only for your own emotional wellbeing, but also for others. Fourth, be prayerful. Part of being in community involves not only praying for one another but praying with one another. As you call, not only share what’s going on, but also share prayer requests and end the conversation in mutual prayer.
Today, plan on calling at least two other people in the church to visit with them and encourage them. Then at the end of the conversation take a moment to share a prayer request and then pray together.