August 20, 2020
Social Creatures

by Dr. Oliver Wagner, Senior Pastor
The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man (“adam”) should be alone. I will make him a helper as his partner.” – Genesis 1:18
I had a really good Sunday last week! Children’s ministry hosted a “drive through blessing” on the church property and four of us were masked and waiting for the vehicles filled with masked parents and masked children to drive through. It was so good to see each one face-to-face and in person—six feet apart, of course! While no adults have aged a day since March the children have all grown 3 to 4 inches taller. One mom said, “As human beings we are social creatures. We need to be in relationship. We need each other’s care and support. Isolation is not good for us.” Amen.

These are hard times because of the health risks and the economic hardship for sure. But in most of our lives, it is the loss of social connection which is the most difficult. More than ever, we long to gather and be with a people. I have always liked being a part of a church family. It was how I was raised and it is an important part of each year and stage of my life. We come together with all of our uniqueness and diversity. And God makes of us one people, one family, one community of care.

My father told me last week, when I saw him in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the first time in 7 months, what he likes most about the Lord’s Prayer. “It’s written in the plural” he said. “Our father, give us, our daily bread, our debts” and so on. Give thanks this day for the gift of “us.” God gives us each other. Your neighbors and classmates are a gift. Your family and church family are a blessing. Your co-workers and city are strengths and helps. We are fighting this virus together. We are enduring financial crisis together. We are working to overcome prejudice as one. We will overcome isolation and worry, challenge and obstacle together.  Committed to one another with care, especially in crisis, we find great strength and hope. I recall the Old Testament story during a famine and many deaths when Ruth clung to Naomi promising “Where you go I will go.” We are in this together! Those women made it through!

I give thanks for you—all of you and each of you. Let us keep connecting in new and creative ways. Join a zoom bible study or Presbyterian Women circle, connect electronically with a book club, Sunday school class, a filmed worship service or choir. Pick up the phone and connect with a friend or church member. Find new ways to do an old thing—live in relationship as social beings, caring and supporting one another even and especially in the midst of a pandemic.  
Thank you, gracious God, for giving us your love and constant presence.  Thank you for giving us one another. Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken, bind us together with love…until we meet again. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009