Isolation, loneliness, and anxiety characterize our culture. To be sure, there are pockets of healthy community throughout our city and nation, but our lifestyles tend toward isolation. The sheer amount of entertainment available to us, added to factors like smart phones and over-scheduled lives fosters loneliness like never before.
In a culture of isolation, disciples of Jesus Christ are intentionally relational. Relationship is the context within which we go about our lives. Being in relationship is fundamental to being human. Being relational involves (1) a way of being as well as (2) specific relationships that every Christian is called to pursue.
First, what would it look like to be relational as a way of life?
In the beginning, God created mankind in his image; we were made to reflect God’s character and nature in the world. God is relational. Christians believe in the Triune God—God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three persons of the Trinity are one and united in nature, yet distinct as persons. They exist in perfect relationship and self-giving love with one another. The relationships within the Godhead form the foundation of our relationships with one another. This means that everything we do as Christians is meant to reflect God's relational nature. All areas of our life must be attuned to relationship and must prioritize relationship if we are to fulfill God's purpose for us.
But what does that relational nature specifically look like?
2000 years ago the Creator of the universe entered our human experience in climactic and world-altering fashion. The God of Ages became man in the person of Jesus Christ.What do you think God would do with you if you met him? When Jesus, the Son of God, met broken and lost people like you and me, he shared a meal with them. Table fellowship is the primary metaphor for relationship that we grab hold of to describe the kind of relationships we want to pursue.
Second, what are the specific relationships we are called to?
There are three key relationships—"Tables"—that every Christian ought to pursue. These relationships are with God, the Church, and the world. We call these First, Second, and Third Table. At each table we must know, love, and do those things which make that relationship what it is. In our following three-part post called "Our Strategy," we will further describe each table and how we pursue the Three Tables as a community.
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