Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father birth in us a longing for the in-person intimacy of doing life face-to-face with His family. Father, it is easier than it has ever been to communicate with each other without ever seeing each other's face. Help us to set aside the ease of avoiding in-person intimacy, and make us hungry to be together! In the name of your son Jesus, draw us, together, closer to you. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "Sing It From the Shackles" Rend Collective
Your Morning Scripture: 2 John 1:12
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink.
Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,
so that our joy may be complete.
Nearly two thousand years separate us from John, and yet we have between us a common thread. Technology. Whether it is paper and ink for John, or phones and computers for us, the true beauty and true ugliness of human ingenuity remains the same.
How wonderful it is to be able to "speak" to someone far away without having to make any sort of journey to go see them.
How tempting it is to let technology excuse us from interacting with each other face to face.
Texts, emails, phone calls, and even live-streaming church events. In the entire history of all the people who have ever lived, we are the best equipped to "talk" to each other. And because we have all embraced this flush of technological convenience, we are the least equipped to actually, honestly, sincerely relate to one another.
We were made to live our lives in the flesh, face to face. Jesus came in the flesh, and when He comes back, we will not get a text from Him telling us so. He will just be there. And so will we. Forever.
We shouldn't neglect the wonderful uses of technology (like an online devotional). But we should actively leverage technology to increase intimacy with each other, not passively allow technology to decrease our intimacy with one another.
Here's a very practical way to check your heart. And it comes right out of the verse from 2 John. It is "I do not want." What do you not want? Do emails and texts and phone calls feel like they're not enough for you? Do you long for face-to-face contact?
Or do texts and emails and phone calls feel perhaps a little too comfortable to you? Do you ever find yourself answering a text or email invitation for some face-to-face time with a convenient excuse? Do even phone calls feel like an inconvenience, or even exhausting? Do you have any want to be in-person, face-to-face with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Or is your heart often empty of such longing?
It would be wise to consider the non-sinful influence of personality types on this conversation. Extroverts, the social butterflies of the world, will likely read the above devotional and shout, "AMEN!" Introverts, butterflies as well, but ones still quite comfortable in the cocoon, are likely to feel wrongly judged by the above devotional.
I am a very social introvert. I can interact with people easily, but often find myself drained by people, even occasionally dreading large group interactions. But without fail, when I entrust my discomfort to God's desire and design, that His children do life together, I am always rewarded with His contentment and peace amongst His people.
May we long to be in God's presence as "we," God's children, together. For some of us this will mean entrusting our hesitancy and struggle to God and embracing, in-person, our brothers and sisters in Christ. For some of us this will mean being patient with those who have to pay a cost to be face-to-face with each other. We will need to set aside our opinions and preferences and, considering the others as more important than ourselves, loving them gently into in-person intimacy.
Our Heavenly Father's call, His son come in the flesh, is for us to be together in the flesh, as often and as intimately as we are able. And we will, each of us, struggle with this call in each our own way.
May we long for one another's company in Christ, and show each other grace as we grow and mature in doing life together.