The Relational is also the Spiritual

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor.13:14)
     “The Gospel of Christ, the passion of Paul’s life was NOT an abstraction but a reality that Paul proclaimed, experienced, and lived out, as one waited for the final consummation at the coming of the Lord. To Paul that life is to be lived out before God, and for one another. Through Christ and the Holy Spirit, God was now understood as a Father, and his people as brothers and sisters in the divine household, heirs of his glory because they were fellow-heirs with the eternal Son. All of Paul’s primary metaphors all evoke images of the most intimate kind of bonding between believers, and their Lord and with one another. This is the “participation in the Spirit” (2Cor.13:14) that Paul prays for to the Lord. Paul is genuinely interested in wholesome relationships within the community of faith.” (Gordon Fee in “Listening to the Spirit of the Text” Chapter-4)

      Our relationship with God is very PERSONAL. We not only approach Him in worship, prayer, and communion but He approaches us and speaks to us by His Word and His Spirit. This Word of the Lord shows us that the commitment that God is looking from humankind is NOT to escape this life but to know God’s power and presence in the here and now! This power will transform both our lives and our society. God has always revealed Himself to humankind through His Word and His Word became flesh in order to reveal Himself fully to humankind. THIS IS RELATIONAL! For the Lord Jesus is the descent of God into the middle of our muddled lives, just as they are, not the ascent of our lives to God, hoping that he might approve when He sees how hard we try. God’s involvement in our lives is not limited to history. As Christian members of the Shepherd’s House we must ask ourselves what is it that we are really hearing from the Lord…and how can we obey the Voice of the Lord in 2 Cor.13:14? ANSWER: It is through Holy-Spirited human relationships with the Holy Trinity, within the church and in our communities.

     How do we do this??? Here’s the scoop…God doesn't want people to know a lot about Him, but literally he WANTS people to know Him a lot. We must distinguish between personal knowledge (relational inter-dependent knowing), and cognitive or reason-based knowledge (rationalistic independent knowing). In our North American churches, all too often we end up filling people's heads with Biblical data as though people were memory data storage banks for biblical information. We cannot think of people as individual cans or receptacles into which we deposit information. People are more than memory banks. People are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). They cannot be reduced to a static state. People are NOT robots or the isolated-other…they are relational beings who are meant to discover the Trinity through interaction with the Word, the Holy Spirit and with one another…

      The results of the Fall (Genesis 3) included separation not only from God, but also from one another. Sin caused us to “come apart” as broken people, genuinely unable to accept God’s love or our neighbor’s love. Selfishness, self-interest and self-centeredness are some of the most prevalent and despicable factors inhibiting the growth of the church today. The Apostle Paul appears to be in tears as he writes in Philippians 2:21 - “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” Some modern emphasis in our western culture on personal wholeness, human potential, and the freedom to be independent-isolated human beings has quietly shifted us away from a burning desire to be more like the Lord, to a more self-centered search for prosperity, health and wealth. The Bible, on the other hand, calls us to a Christ centered wholeness through a relationship with the Lord, with our family and with our neighbors (John 13:34-35; Mark 12:29-31)… this is the prime directive for our spiritual life…NOT an independent-isolated existence! Now think about this…we could go into a room where people sit next to each other every Sunday, and not talk with each other at all…People could all be filled up with good Biblical information but they have no relationships with each other!Wouldn't we be missing the very thrust of Scripture as to what the church is all about? When we miss the essence of true communion and community – i.e. RELATIONSHIPS with ones who are DIFFERENT than us – we actually disobey the Voice of the Lord (Luke 10:25-37). We must remember the Apostle Paul encouraged us…"When you come together, each of you bring a psalm and a spiritual song...that the body might be built up. (1Cor.14:26)" We are supposed to have this giving and receiving of ministry from one another at TSH. We must have an ongoing dialogue in the church with one another by the Spirit because God has chosen to communicate to us through relationships. This Holy-Spirited communication actually heals our humanity- it is a heavenly humanizing force!

      The Holy Spirit will help our congregation on what does not yet exist but should exist – a ‘humanizing’ future. The Lord is in the business of humanizing, not dehumanizing us. The humanizing future - the Vision the Lord gave TSH was: We are a multi-cultural family in Christ Jesus called to embrace and serve our community with the love and power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The vision the Lord spoke to us through our collective voice at our Beverley Retreat in 2010 was meant to humanize our communities and us through Holy Spirited communion and community. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirited relationships, the congregation of TSH will go through a spiritual and physical developmental growth process. The destiny of a God-given vision is not a destination – a place, but a way-of-being in a network of relationships that leads to Holy Spirited, consistent and life-transforming action. Through this, the Holy Spirit will bring us into Christ-likeness and Christ-Victories!
Reach out and talk to each other my friends, you may hear the Lord!


  • Listening to the Spirit of the Text by Gordon Fee
  • The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson
  • Relational Theology by Wess Pinkham @ Kings University @ Van Nuys, CA