Tendons

Trinity painted by Andrei Rublev
After a wrong turn and being lost for about five minutes, I figured out where I was going and found The Vine. This is the church where my friend in Hong Kong goes, and also the church that has come and visit the Aroma in Ximen. It was a time of familiar faces, surprisingly powerful worship and a profound sermon that really struck a chord.

The pastor , who has lived in Hong Kong since age 12, preached on bones. Bones need to be connected was the theme. His base scripture was from Ezekiel 37:1-10. He highlighted verse 6:

I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’

His focus was on the word tendons.

Tendons hold the bones in place and in the correct position, connecting them to the bones below and above. They also stretch across the bone and absorb the shock when our bones move, so unnecessary stress doesn’t cause the bone to break. The tendons are also what allows muscle to develop around the bone, further protecting it and enabling mobility. The tendons connect the bones upward, downward, and to the right and the left.

And then the pastor was talking about relationships. Relationships are the tendons of our spiritual life. It is the people around us that help us through the difficult times (absorbing the shock of life’s movement) and make us strong. We need people above us, who are wiser and stronger, people who are our personal teachers and coaches. Relationships we receive from. We need people below us, people we are pouring into and investing in. Relationships we are giving to. We need people alongside us, people to our right and to our left who can we share life with, all the joys and burdens of life. Relationships we can share with. 

Sometimes, we are doing too much sharing. Sometimes, we are doing to much receiving. Sometimes, we are doing too much giving. Sometimes, when life gets too difficult, we run away from the very thing that is supposed to help relieve the stress: people. Sometimes, we simply want to give up on the relationship because it’s too hard. But no relationship worth having is easy all the time. 

The whole sermon jolted my mind to an introspective zoom out. I realized there are a lot of perspectives I have about people that are all lies or simply don’t line up with reality. I’ve subconsciously held on to these things, weaving them into my own expectations and hopes in terms of the relationships around me. And I’ve been wrong. 

I realize that last paragraph might not make a whole lot of sense to someone reading this, an that’s okay. I hope you got something out of all the paragraphs before that one. Then you can create your own ambiguous paragraph that only makes sense to the one person who needs to understand it: you

The pastor concluded with the painting that I posted at the beginning of this blog. It’s a picture of the trinity, the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit in an eternal exchange of sharing, giving, and receiving, the perichoresis, the dance of the Godhead. The very thing that every human being was and is created to do. 

It’s time to dance. 

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