Some things just go together:
- peanut butter and jelly,
- macaroni and cheese,
- Batman and Robin
Love and belonging go together like that. The whole human race is biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to desire and experience these two things.
Without them life goes a little haywire. We lose our sense of security and identity. We live disconnected or we align ourselves to the wrong crowd in search of what we need.
The good news is that love and belonging are available to us through our relationship with God. Jesus illustrated this idea in one of the most well known stories he told.
We’ve talked about the parable of the prodigal son before, or as we like to call it – The Parable of the Extravagant Love of the Father.
In this story we see the devastating results of searching for belonging with the wrong crowd but we also see a picture of the love of our Father God.
The son is lost and alone, trying to eek out an existence, but the story takes a dramatic turn in Luke 15:20
“So he got up and went to his father.”
We want you to know wherever you are, whatever you done – you can ALWAYS get up and go to the Father!
Because look at how the father responds:
“But while he (the lost son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
What amazing love! But it doesn’t end there. Listen to what the father says:
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. (Luke 15:22)
With these instructions the father is not just getting some decent clothes on the boy. Each one of these items – the robe, the ring, the sandals – is a symbol of belonging to the family.
The father sees his boy and is filled with love and in their first interaction he demonstrates for all to see that his wayward son belongs to the family. See? Love and belonging go together!
We believe one of the best places on earth to find love and belonging is in the local church. We are loved by God. We love God. We love each other. And we experience belonging to God’s family in a very tangible way through the relationships we build and fellowship we find in a church family.
Right now is the perfect time to get involved in a small group and find a community of like minded people to do life with at Shoreline. Host a group or join a group and together we’ll find these two things we desperately need – love and belonging.