Here at Oasis Family Church, we love to socialise. If a church service finishes early, then more than likely people stick around to have a chat and catch up with friends and family before making their way off to whatever lunch plans, they have organised.
Over the years there have been many depictions of Jesus life put to celluloid. Some of these depictions of Jesus have him as a largely white skinned brown-haired blue-eyed character that would act about as wooden as a thunderbird puppet and gone around speaking like he was giving directions to a lavatory in a loud crowded shopping mall. Usually, Jesus has been depicted as quite a serious ‘Jesus’, all business no play. After all He had to save the world, no time for frivolities along the way.
It is not often reflected upon in the scriptures, but Jesus three-year ministry was often punctuated by having dinner at someone’s house or a festival, a marriage celebration, a meal on the beach, staying at someone’s house or diverting plans to stay with a village. How often did Jesus and his disciples hang around chatting after synagogue with the locals? What sort of humour or recantations of the day’s events would have been topic of social conversation with thirteen men travelling together? Jesus’ three-year ministry highlights the mix between social and spiritual. It is easy to sometimes emphasise the spiritual component and place higher over the social.
After all is not the spiritual side of what we do at church more important than a church picnic day out? Some may think so, but here is something to think about. Jesus coming to earth in a human body is the perfect mix of spiritual and social. Jesus’ activities here on earth were social interactions with real people. They were, when you look closely to the narrative of the four gospels, caring interactions punctuated with smiles, laughter, tiredness, compassion, frustrations and sometimes sorrow.
Genesis 1:26 tells us God made man in His image. God creates man so He can interact with Him. God walks and talks with Adam in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:8-9). What did they talk about? The day’s activities, the different plants, Adam’s third terraced plantings and thinning plan for the coming plum harvest?
God created Adam for interaction. He created us to be social creatures. It is a part of who we are and a need all of us have to a greater or lesser extent. We were not made for isolation. That is why at Oasis we believe life is better when we are connected and why we will continue to undertake social activities for the whole family to enjoy in fellowship.
Any parent will tell you of the joy there is when children get along well with their siblings. I am sure God loves to hear the happy noise on a Sunday that comes when Oasis Family meet each other, catch up and sing songs to Him. How must warm the Father’s heart.