The Good Word  

 June 1998
Connections can be very helpful in getting us through life. The story is told of a young Englishman who was clerking in the Paris office of a top English law firm. In that position he met a prominent Frenchman, who was a client of the firm.

 Of even greater interest, he met and fell in love with this Frenchman's beautiful daughter. What chance did a poor English clerk have of marrying the daughter of the wealthy and powerful Frenchman?

 But the clerk was motivated and resourceful. On a visit home to the head office in London, he approached the managing partner of his law firm and asked to be made a senior partner of the firm.

 This suggestion was met with disbelief and rejection, until the young man commented . . .

 "Would it make a difference if you knew that I was going to marry the daughter of our star French client? For we shall soon wed."

 The partner responded, "Well in such a case, that will make all the difference." And plans were put in place for his advancement to a senior partnership in the firm.

 But before word can spread, the young man returns to his post in Paris. At the earliest opportunity he calls on the wealthy French client and seeks his daughter's hand in marriage.

 The Frenchman, too, is incredulous and rejects him on the grounds that he is poor, with limited prospects for the future. But the young clerk presses his suit . . .

 "Would it make a difference if you knew that I was going to be made a senior partner at the firm? For such will soon be announced."

 The father responded, "Well, in such a case, that will make all the difference." And plans for a spectacular wedding were immediately made.

 And so, through connections, the young clerk obtained the wife of his dreams and a senior partnership. Surely you will agree that connections are important.

 The connections we now turn to involve YOU. Like this . . .

 GOD - - - JESUS - - - YOU - - - OTHERS

 First there is the connection between the Father and the Son. Jesus said of his Father, "We are one." (John 17:11) And, "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." (John 14:9)

 The connection between Jesus and the Father is very close. But the whole purpose of God joining the human race (in Jesus) was to make a connection to you and me. That's why Jesus is sometimes called "Immanuel - which means, 'God with us.'" (Matthew 1:23) He is the connection between heaven and earth. That is why he "is not ashamed to call [us] brothers." (Hebrews 2:11)

 And brothers we are, whether we know it or act it. Jesus says, "I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." This shows that the connection between the Father, the Son and us is very close.

 But what about the others? There is a close connection between you and every other person on earth. As the apostle noted, "From one man he made every nation of men." (Acts 17:26) We are all connected (relatives) through Adam first, and then through Christ.

 A great deal more could be said to prove these connections . . .

 GOD - - - JESUS - - - YOU - - - OTHERS

 But it is important to make use of these connections. If we will take the lead of the young English law clerk, we can leverage our lives, too!

 First, we can see in God all the wisdom, wealth and happiness of the ages. These are for us to enjoy, as we enjoy Him. After all, we are connected through Jesus.

 Some might think this a hollow enjoyment: to enjoy vicariously the being and achievement of another. But sports fans seem to be comfortable with enjoying the achievement of others. They celebrate their team's victories as if they were their own. (And suffer the defeats, too!)

 Why not enjoy God in this way? Leverage your own peace and happiness by appropriating the peace and happiness that are found in Him. After all, the connection is real.

 Just as it is your privilege to enjoy God's happiness, so it is His lot to suffer your pain. Remember how the fan suffers his team's defeat? Your connection with God goes both ways:

 God can never be totally free of suffering as long as you suffer. But you can never be totally miserable as long as God is God.

 This is similar to the relation of free Americans to the oppressed people in some other parts of the world. America represents hope and freedom to millions all over the world. They can never be totally enslaved as long as we are here, enjoying our freedom. But, again, the connection goes both ways: We can never be totally free as long as they are oppressed.

 Think on this! The welfare of God and man is forever intertwined because of the man, Jesus Christ. How fortunate for us. What love from Him.

 The summary thought from last month's issue of The Good Word seems equally appropriate here: Jesus is the brother we cast into a pit of stone (after calvary). He is also the brother who has gone on to a better place, where he prepares for us. Thank God for this.

 Your friend, Herb Sorensen