What do Jiffy Lube, and “Bruce Almighty” have to do with man’s need for communion? I’ve been thinking about the Trinity a lot lately (thanks Dr. Gifford). I’ve begun to realize that because God is Triune in his nature, all that God is and does should be considered with that fact in mind. Creation, salvation, you and me, everything is affected by the Triune nature of God, and can really only be properly understood with that in mind. When you think about God, with his Triune nature in mind, it’s easy to see why we (who have been created in his image) have such a desire for communion. So, let me tell you a story.
A few weeks ago I took my car to Jiffy Lube for an oil change. Recently, I’ve noticed that they have begun playing DVDs in the lobby as you wait for them to service your car. That day, the movie being played was “Bruce Almighty.” So, here I am sitting in the lobby with four complete strangers, trying to ignore the movie and concentrate on the book I brought with me. Well, if you’ve seen the movie, you may recall the part where Bruce’s rival is trying to deliver the evening news broadcast, and Bruce messes with him, causing him to just be able to speak gibberish, which I think is totally hilarious. Anyhow, I’m trying to keep it together in front of these strangers, not wanting to just bust out laughing in front of them in the lobby of the local Jiffy Lube; but, I couldn’t do it. I lost it, and just died laughing. And, so did everybody else. It was like we were all waiting for somebody to break the ice and make it okay to laugh. For a brief moment, it felt like we were old friends, completely comfortable with each other. It seemed we all felt a bond at that moment, we wanted to laugh together, but just didn’t know how. That got me to thinking.
Because God is Triune in his nature, and we are created in his image; there is this innate, God created desire within us for communion. Even folks who don’t know the Lord need and seek intimacy with others. We have been created for fellowship, with God and each other. Sin, has disrupted and corrupted this whole thing. First off, as this relates to the body of Christ; the most natural thing in the world should be for us to enjoy Jesus together, but all too often we don our religious masks and refuse to let anyone see what’s really going on in our hearts. We put on airs, and refuse to expose our weaknesses to one another, and this keeps us from truly enjoying the communion we so desperately need. Put plainly, we are afraid to be real and many times opt to show each other the fake self we believe is safe for others to see. We don’t want others to see us make mistakes or get it wrong. As a result, the communion we are to have with each other, which by the way is to lead us into deeper intimacy with Jesus, is shallow and often disingenuous. How can we teach and admonish each other in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, when we are uncomfortable around each other?
Consider God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally communing with each other in absolute holiness. Our relationships within the body of Christ are to reflect the communion of the Triune God. In fact, the only way you can mature properly in the Lord is in communion with your brothers and sisters. Yes, we are to have that personal walk with God, but you’ll only go so far by yourself. In each other, we visibly see God at work and are built up in the faith. You weren’t designed to know it all, or be the high and lofty anointed one. We need each other to be whole. It’s the way He set it up.
All of this means we have to willing to be vulnerable, and guess what; may be it is you who needs to be the one to “break the ice” in your fellowship. You could be the one the Lord uses to bring freedom and renewal in the lives of those with whom you commune. Try this. The next time someone asks you, “How’s it going?” tell them the truth. Spend time with Jesus, let his word abide in you, and then pour into someone else. They need you and you need them. I’ll leave you with this:
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”