Our culture today seems to be obsessed with being connected. Just think about all the ways we have for people to stay “connected.” Social media, which once seemed like it may be a quick-lasting fad, has taken over the world with new sites popping up all the time. By simply logging onto your computer, you can be connected with people on the other side of the world with one click. Smart phones rule the world as you can now pretty much do whatever you need to do with your phone. So, no longer do you even have to log onto your computer to be connected; now, all you need to do is pull your phone out of your pocket or purse. News can be reported and all over the world in less than a minute. Yes, it sure seems like a major focus in our society has become the obsession with staying “connected” to one another.
But if we think about it, how connected are we really? Sure, we can talk to someone on the other side of the world, but at the same time we are talking to those we are close to (maybe even in the same room!) through our phones and computers rather than face-to-face. Is that really connected?! I remember when I first starting using email back in middle school, we had dial-up connection for the Internet, so I would spend quite a bit of time waiting while my computer tried to get along, all the while greeting me with the words: “Server Connecting.” These days, while Internet connections have sped up, there are still those moments from time to time where we are made to wait while our server connects and thus every “connection” we have shuts down. So again I ask, how connected are we really?
As we finish our exploration of Jesus’ “I AM” statements, we conclude with his statement: “I am the vine.” Now, this is a statement we looked at over a period of a few weeks last summer, but it is so important that it is worth looking at again. Because when Jesus uses these words, he is telling us the importance of being connected as Christians. And that connection doesn’t come from social media or smart phones. No, our true connection comes from being one in Christ Jesus. Jesus came to bring us together and part of his self-identification is reminding us of the importance of being together. Because only through this connection can we truly be the Church we are meant to be. So, instead of waiting for the server to connect, may we all connect ourselves on the Vine – the One who never leaves us hanging.