Posted: 30 November 2015

Advent: It is not good for man to be alone

The Christmas season is commonly held as a time for family. So each week our Advent calendar includes a reflective piece from Krish Kandiah exploring the biblical view of family.

The first thing that is said to be wrong in the universe – even before the fall – is isolation: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’. God’s intention for human flourishing was not isolated individuals in pious private relationship with himself. Human companionship has always been an essential element of God’s shalom. The observation of the inadequacy of isolation is the corollary of the blessing of God on humanity: 

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‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'

Genesis 1.27–28a

As part of human companionship, families in all their various forms are a seminal part of what it means to be made in the image of God. Men and women in ‘a relationship characterised by harmony and intimacy between the partners’, share the privilege and responsibility of being made in the image of God, and with that, the call to steward creation together with their offspring. Children are included in God’s purposes for the benevolent and godly task of ‘making something of the world.’ 

Numerous authors have characterised the shalom (peace) of God in terms of four essential relationships: 

  • relationship with God
  • relationship with others
  • relationship with place
  • relationship with self.

So this Advent, what would it look like for us to truly live in community?

God’s intention from the beginning of his Word is that each of these relationships is rightly ordered. All four of these creational relationships connect with family life as human beings image God best in community – as we care for creation together and in so doing find our sense of identity.

So this Advent, what would it look like for us to truly live in community? Which of the four essential relationships do we most need to invest time in reordering? Do we have any relationships that bring us joy that we can be thankful to God for?

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Welcome to our Advent calendar 2015

Posted: 28 November 2015