Six Goods and a Very Good—not bad for your first week on the job. Of course, God was his own critic, and even though he'd never made a universe before (that we know of), he was, after all, God. So everything is perfect—light and dark; water and land; trees, birds, animals, fish; a garden and a human. But then, just as the universe starts to relax and enjoy itself, comes an impossible statement provoking a cosmic shudder, shaking creation to its core:
"The LORD God said:
'It is not good . . .
[think Jim Lovell--"Houston, we have a problem"]
. . . for the man to be alone. '"
Well, I think, that's obvious—how could God have missed it? I am a man who was once alone, and I clearly needed help. What man doesn't? And Adam had it rough—be fruitful and multiply (alone?), subdue the animals, tend the garden, work it and take care of it, all without modern farming implements. Of course he needed help!
But God, I think, was on to something deeper. The core trait that most profoundly characterizes him and from which he derives joy and pleasure is community: the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three distinct identities perfected in their unity and harmony with each other. So from the original human he creates two novel humans so that as they come together they might experience a micro-cosmic version of divine community.
The church expands that community infinitely. Jesus, before leaving earth, prayed that his followers would be one just as he and his Father were one. He knew that unity more than anything else—more than power, goodness, or success—would convince the world that the church was divine and not just another human social institution.
He also knew that we’d be unable to make it alone. It’s difficult enough to get to the end of life without completely messing up and falling apart. But the life of faith turns normal life on its head! The life of faith is confusing and frustrating and difficult and awkward and unnatural. We must band together with others who have similar goals to have any hope of making it.
We are therefore committed here to pursuing God together in community. We provide as many structures and contexts as we can to foster real relational connections—Bible studies, mom's groups, college groups, singles groups, family groups, recovery groups—and we'll use any excuse to throw a party, have a picnic, or just hang out longer together after church. And in those contexts, we relate. We talk, laugh, cry, grieve, celebrate, repent, forgive, and in growing to love each other, we are drawn into God's community and find something that is Very Good.