Beginnings: The Beginning of Community

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For Meditation

In our vision series this month, we have been looking at four great beginnings which correspond to the four key relationships we were made for: relationship with God, self, others and creation. This Sunday we are looking at the third of those relationships, our relationship with others. 

In a society like ours, it is easy to believe that relationships are an “extra” to the essence of human personhood. After all, in Western democratic culture we value the autonomy and independence of the individual over almost everything else. But in the biblical worldview, the essence of human personhood is inherently communal. This is not only because God made us this way, but because God himself is this way! For all eternity God has existed not as a solitary divine nomad, but as a loving community of persons in the Triune godhead. To be human means to be a person-in-community because we are made in the image of the God who is a triune community.

This Sunday we’ll be looking at our deep need for relationships according to Genesis. Though the context of relationally in Genesis 1 and 2 is the male-female relationship of marriage, the deeper interpretative lens is the broad application of God’s universal design for human relationships. After all, many of us are not married, including our Lord himself! But we’ll also be looking at what these relationships are meant to be like according to Genesis 1 and 2. Specifically, we’ll see that our human relationships are meant to be covenantal (2:23), complimentary (2:18) and transparent (v.25). These are characteristics that apply to all human relationships, not just marriage.

In preparation for this Sunday, read our texts for this week and note all that you can about the nature of human relationships. 

Our worship guide can be downloaded here.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 2:18-25

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.