When you add up all your toes, what number do you get? When you add up all your fingers and thumbs, what number do you get? Now ask yourself, how many commands did God give Moses?
Biblically speaking, the number ten can often symbolize completeness as fullness. Within the Apocalypse we see that the believers in Smyrna were going to be tested for ten days, indicating a full, complete trial and testing of their faith (2:10). Elsewhere in Revelation the number ten indicates a fullness or completeness of strength. The harlot that John sees in Chapter 17 is in league with ten horns or kings indicating her full and complete reliance upon the strength or power of the beast (17:13).
Here again is the point: the Bible seems to suggest that the number ten symbolizes fullness and completeness.
It is also interesting to note that Jacob vowed to give back to God a tenth of what God gave to him (Gen. 28:22). Was Jacob indicating his full recognition in God as His source and complete trust, worship and obedience to Yahweh? Possibly.
A number of weeks ago our Premier gave us the ability to socialize in groups of ten.
The significance of this number jumped off the page to me when it was announced. Could it be that God has given our government this number as a way for Ontarions to socialize and fellowship in a way that brings a sense of fullness to our social lives? I believe that it can.
A number of weeks ago we hosted a get together for our ‘social bubble’. It was a great time. I know that others have also done the same. I have also talked with others and encouraged more people within the church to also do the same. However, I have always said that whomever you socialize with, or plan to meet with, please do so in an organic, affinity aligned way. Here is what I mean.
You cannot force friendship. Jesus had three close friends. We know them as Peter, James and John. Wether we like it or not, the Almighty, Eternal Logos that became flesh probably spent more time with these three than anyone else. Consider also that the Bible only highlights the stories and writings of small group of Christ’s followers. Here’s the point: small groups can be a powerful thing. Jesus changed the world with a few. Maybe we should also give it a go as well. However, we need to do so as real people.
You cannot fake friendship. Have you ever read “The Velveteen Rabbit”? It’s a story about being real. In the story a toy rabbit is on a quest to discover what it means to be real. The rabbit eventually learns that being real is only found and offered in the context of loving relationships. In the story, this toy rabbit magically becomes living bunny because of his ‘real’ loving relationship with a boy. In other words, you could say that being ‘real’ means that one is in a loving relationship with others.
You cannot formalize friendship. A number of years ago our church tried to ‘run small groups’. It was our attempt to address a need within the congregation. Many folks simply did not know one another outside the Sunday worship service. For a whole year we organized, implemented and structured groups to run and operate via the newest and latest curriculum for small groups. I mean, if it worked for Saddleback, then it must work for us! Well … it didn’t.
This is not a negative towards small group ministry or Saddleback at all. I truly believe in small groups, however, I now realize that it cannot be forced (everyone needs to belong to a group), fake (sign up to attend) or formalized (let’s all watch the DVD and talk about it).
Small groups need to be … formed.
During this ongoing pandemic we have been given the opportunity to form social groups of ten people. This has become known as the ‘social bubble’. I have one and so do you.
If you are not in a social bubble as of yet, why not consider reaching out to someone that you know and give it a try? We all need contact and fellowship with other living beings. Try contacting a friend and set up a time to meet. You may discover that there are a few others that may like to also get together. Now you are off to the races and beginning to form friendships that are real.
If you are on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum and seemingly cannot restrict yourself to ten, maybe consider asking yourself this question: who am I truly in a loving relationship with?
This filter may eliminate 90% of your social connections. But at least you have narrowed it down to a group of people who you can be real with. This smaller group may bring more fullness and completeness to your life than the masses. Just saying.
This coming Saturday evening I will be connecting with a few friends from my ‘bubble’ for dinner. It sounds like another promising evening of being real with one another.
Why not organize one of your own? Jesus changed the world with three. We have been given the green light for ten.
It’s been said that while you may not be able to change the world as one person, you can change the world for one person.
What do you say? Shall we attempt to change the world together?