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Made to Make Connections

Last night was the final night of our middle school camp. We usually play a "game" on the very last night of our elementary camp called "pass the spark," where the students get a turn to tell something about someone who they like or has had an impact on them while at camp. I say game in quotations because, while sometimes it can be silly, usually several of our students become an emotional mess (often times not even having the words to say) when trying to express how much they care for one another. Each person in the circle gets a turn with the microphone, and each person gets something shared about them. After this, we take 5-10 minutes so that everyone can go find the friend they didn't get to share about, and let them know how much they care. This year, I had two of my own kids with me in my cabin, because they were too young for this week of camp. My 6 year old, sitting quietly in the car as we drove back to our cabin, tearfully spoke up, saying "I'm going to miss them all very much." As I comforted him when we got back to our cabin, I was telling him that this is why we were made (a fact that we had talked about all week in camp): to love God, and to love one another. The fact that he could make such connections in such a short time showed his heart for this fact. I also told him that while he would miss his friends he made this week, next week, at his camp (Elementary week), he'd have a chance to make new friends, and new connections.

We were made for connections, first to God, and first to one another. Adam walked alone with God in the Garden, he named the animals, and God admitted that it was "not good" for Adam to be alone. Jesus summed up all of His Father's laws, and the message of each and every prophet in one, two-sided command: "You shall love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength," and, "love your neighbor as yourself." This is the greatest and highest calling a follower of Christ could have: to make connections, to love God, and in the process of loving God, extend His love to all others. This is what we're made for. This is our purpose. We are made to make connections, and in doing so, draw all men to their creator who sent His Son to restore the severed connection between ourselves and Him. Romans 12:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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