Summary: Do you BELONG? Are you CONNECTED to anything that transcends yourself? One of the most striking paradoxes of our current culture today… is the crisis of connection.
Do you BELONG? Are you CONNECTED to anything that transcends yourself?
One of the most striking paradoxes of our current culture today… is the crisis of
• Never has our world experienced the level of connection that has become possible in
just the last 10 years. It’s become the world of globalization… unlimited potential
connection… What has emerged is the ability to be connected to anyone on the
planet at any time ….
> Yet never have people felt so disconnected….so alienated…so alone.
Sociologists and psychologists are describing the deep and dark crisis of alienation that is
plaguing modern life.
Not just an issue of lacking popularity or social success…
Winona Ryder Finds Fame Lonely
"When I was 18, I was driving around at two in the morning, completely crying
and alone and scared. I drove by this magazine stand that had this Rolling Stone
that I was on the cover of, and it said, ’Winona Ryder: The Luckiest Girl in the
World.’ And there I was feeling more alone than I ever had."
Citation: Winona Ryder, cited from Plugged In, Vol. 6, no. 4 (April 2001); submitted by Van Morris, Mount
Sheryl Crow - “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. That’s the only true fear I have.”
Citation: Interview magazine (10-01-98); submitted by Mike Herman, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
In a Rolling Stone interview, Trent Reznor, the lead musician of the rock band Nine
Inch Nails, muses on how his anti-religion stance helped lead him into his lapse into
“In my head, that spilled over into an utter-chaos outlook: ‘I don’t need
anything, I don’t need anyone, and I don’t need to believe there’s any
reason to anything.’ It was a pretty self-centered approach. I was lonely
and had a bleak outlook on everything. I think people have an inherent
need for belonging…”.
Citation: Anthony Bozza, "The Fragile World of Trent Reznor," Rolling Stone (10-14-99), p. 140;
Inherent need… something that reflects our essence… the issue of belonging is ultimately a
spiritual one… a transcendent one.
There is a very simple premise to this journey…
The search for connection… is a search for the common.
• The very root of the word “community” is “common.”
Here lies the challenge –
The loss of some transcendent connection gives rise to a tendency to find identity through
distinctions that prove destructive.
From niche marketing and clothing styles… to social cliques and gangs… to ethnic
rivalries and nationalism… we are so hungry to find ourselves…to belong … that our identify
is often simply reduced to that of identifying with some sub-group over and against others. And
those connections prove not only destructive… but dissatisfying…. far too fragile to really
provide the deep connection we long for.
The desperate alternative is to try and simply diminish our differences… forge some idea of
common identity… communism… new tendencies of ‘tolerance’ and spiritual relativism.
Our Need – to discover the common in the midst of the unique… not a bland conformity… but
unity amidst diversity.
> Differences don’t divide when they are centered and secured in the
commonalities that connect.
> Which is precisely what God has at hand….
Colossians 1:19-20 (GW)
”God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ. God was also pleased to bring
everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making
peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.”
What is God seeking to reconcile in Christ? > ALL THINGS… > ultimate unity
At the center lies His relationship with us…
Eph. 1:5 (NLT)
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by
bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.”
> God wanted a family. That’s why we’re here. He wanted children. And the Bible
says He planned everything in the entire universe so we could be born, so we could share in His
glory, so we could be part of His family.
The word “famly” may seem hard to equate with God… it’s the sense of ultimate connection
that is reflected here.
There are few words that can strike us with both a sense of warmth… and a sense of wanting.
The family experience is what shapes our entire sense of BELONGING…
serves as the REFERENCE POINT for our place in the world.
For some of us, our earthly experience of belonging has been a good and helpful taste of what
God intends family to be…. For others of us…. feel adrift… all of us…. there is a level of
ultimate connection that eludes us.
> We all long to belong. The pain of not belonging is so deep we can deny it with a façade
of independence… but such independence denies our true nature. Where the womb or the