When you read the Genesis account of creation, you cannot miss the way that the world was born into a sea of relationality. Read the following verse
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
This is a God who speaks in the language of us, a trinitarian being who is relationality incarnate. This trinitarian God createsout of nothing a whole new web of relational connections.
God – Humans
God – Creation
Humans – Creation
Man – Woman
God’s reality is marked by relationality, is a building block, it is a kind of God inspired DNA that infuses the whole of creation.
However with the fall we see a move away from relationality. To pursue self-interest, Adam and Eve must step away from relationship with a cool and calculating rationality, which places selfishness above relationship, and so reality is marked by the fall, that is a break in relationship. Cain’s sin was not just that he killed but that he annhilated relationship in the most brutal fashion possible.
Thus God sets into place a plan to redeem the world through repairing relationship, a plan that begins with his promise to Abram of a new family of humanity, a plan that finds its climax on the cross as Christ dies in order to repair the break between humanity and God, a plan in which God builds an organic web of relationships known as the church which partners with him in his plan to redeem creation.
However we resist God’s plan. Why? Because our culture in the West has a tradition and a history rooted in the enlightenment, which wishes to view the world through cold, calculating and rational eyes. Which attempts to apply the supposedly neutral empiricism of science to the whole of life. Such a worldview requires a retreat from relationship. Such a worldview looks upon relationship with suspicion. So we find the powers and principalities of our age in that which moves us away from relationship. Our time in history is marked by a breakdown in relationship that extends beyond just the breakdown of marriage and the family.
- Sexuality becomes no longer about connection but rather mechanical technique
- Casualties of war become collateral damage
- Neighbours become strangers who live next door
- Victims of famine become namless stastics scrolling across the bottom of the TV news
- We meet more people than any other culture in history yet our age is marked by chronic loneliness
- Communities become simply real estate
- Christianity becomes simply turning up, consuming religious good and services, being affiliated, buying a bumper sticker
- Scripture becomes simply an ancient text to surgically dissect, an act of information consumption devoid of relationship with God
- We become more interested in the relationships of celebrities and characters in TV shows than in the relationships in our own lives
- Worship rather than connection with God becomes therapy, something that simply makes us feel good
Therefore to align ourselves with God as he spreads his mustard seed revolution, it is not enough just to build better relationships, we must put on kingdom glasses, we must view life and the whole of creation through the lens of relationship.