The Joy of ConnectionThursday, June 24, 2010
In this day and age with all the new communication tools, it should be much simpler than in days past to stay in touch, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case. Though today's tools can bridge the gap of distance and allow us to remain directly connected with people, it takes more than the technology available to make it happen. It is all too easy to let a relationship quietly drift away simply because we don’t make the effort or take the time to foster it. When we don’t show that we value the relationship before we know it, it is gone.
As important as it is to cultivate our bond with the people God has blessed us with, it is even more essential to strengthen our connection with the One who gifts us with those relationships. I read very thought provoking devotional a few weeks ago that really got me searching my heart. It asked how connected I am with the Lord. While reading it, I questioned myself as to what I am doing to strengthen that connection. I read the Bible, I worship and I pray. But do I truly appreciate the availability of prayer? Do I come before God with a thankful heart that truly values the privilege it is to come before Him? Not always. That revelation caused me to pause. Being connected to God through prayer is a joy and a gift of immeasurable value...but so often, that gift is taken for granted.
In the days of the Old Covenant, leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, only the High Priest was allowed to pass through the curtain that separated the people from the Most Holy Place in the Jerusalem’s Temple. Once a year, the High Priest entered that sacred place to offer sacrifices before the Lord as atonement for the people’s sin. “But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance”(Hebrews 9:7).
When Christ offered Himself as the final sacrifice for our sins the curtain was torn and a new covenant was made. At the moment of Christ’s death, the barrier between God and humanity was split in two enabling all people to approach God directly through our Eternal High Priest – Jesus Christ. “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed his last” (Luke 23:44-46).
How precious is the gift of prayer when we understand the measures our Savior went to allow us direct access to Him! Not only did Christ’s sacrifice on the cross pay for our sins, it also tore down the barrier between us. No longer are we separated! God invites us into the Most Holy Place where we can continually share in sweet communion with Him. There is no longer a divide in our communication. We are linked through the One who gave His all for us.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water”(Hebrews 10:19-22).
Praise God for the Gift of prayer! I am so thankful God desires this connection with me...and with all of us! As we move forward, let us always appreciate the great privilege and joy it is to come before Him! As we remember the lengths to which Christ went to connect us, let us continually pray with thankfulness, rejoicing in the Lord.
Living for Him,