We live in an electronic world. We live in what many have called the Information Age. The internet has revolutionized how we are able to obtain information. Through various blogs, myspace and facebook and email we can keep up with friends as well as what people are thinking. We live in an exciting world. Yet it is also an impersonal world. We can touch all these people without ever hearing their voice or meeting them in person. Even though it is so much easier to exchange information, we lose one vital aspect of human life – connectedness. The internet is a sterile, impersonal environment. We may never actually meet in person many of the people we correspond with over it. Even though they are live, human beings, we are no more connected to them than we are to, for example, Plato or Aristotle. By focusing only on the internet we lose the connectedness of relationships. I have never yet experienced a laugh, or seen a thoughtful look or a smile, or felt the touch of a hand on the internet. When we use it as the sole means of communication, we experience a loss of personal relationships.
We are created to be in relationship. Studies examining the care of premature babies have shown that those who have little human contact and touch are less likely to survive. Recluses tend to be misfits in society. Their anti-social behavior may lead to violence. The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, is a case in point. We were made to have and be in relationship. We need the context of relationships in order to thrive. Without them, we suffer a loss. As John Mark Reynolds remarked after attending a convention of bloggers, “there are no complete conversations without being together: soul and body.”
We need each other to be fully human, fully alive.
It is Christmastime. It is the time of year when families naturally get together. In our global world with its ease of mobility, we tend to drift apart. Family members may just as easily be across the world as across the country. Christmastime is a time to come home for the holidays. It is a time to renew relationships that have slipped during the course of the year. It is a time to connect again.
But more than just reconnecting with family and friends, Christmastime is also a time to reconnect with God. In the babe in the manger we discover that God is not just an impersonal force who set the universe in motion and then retired. The birth of Jesus demonstrates to us how personal God is. The transcendent, all powerful God who created the universe has such a strong desire to connect with us that he sent his son to earth to live among us. Jesus experienced all the joys and sorrows of human life. He fully understands us. In Jesus, God became one of us. His love for us was so great that it even cost him the life of his son. It is a little overwhelming when we finally understand that God really loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
As you go through the holiday season this year, remember to reconnect with God. He is a personal being who desires to be in relationship with you. Even if your relationship with him has been absent over the past few years, now is a good time to restore that relationship. He is more than willing to give us his personal touch. Are you willing to give him the same?