Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they are always glad you came. You want to be where you can see, troubles are all the same. Thanks Cheers.
It’s when you walk into a room full of strangers and you hear a familiar laugh, see a recognizable face. It is the group that identifies you first, spots you in the crowd and stands up. Everyone else between you and the table in the back doesn't seem to matter anymore. Its an instant connection as communication begins with nonverbal gestures, hand signaling and voiceless lip movements that beckon you with a smile. When you are asked, “how many will be in your party this evening?,” although you have come alone, it is an instant exponential multiplicity once you say the words,”Im with them.”
You feel more at ease once you identify where you belong. You know that these people share thoughts, feelings, ideals and values that match your own.They are glad to see you. No need for pretense, no performance requirements, no judgement. You hang your coat on the back of the chair, pull the base of your seat beneath you closer to the circle, place your elbows on the table and with a sigh of accomplishment, the Cheers begin. Its a personal status update of the mundane sequence you experienced just before you arrived. Timeless tales of great renowned about the traffic on the way over, or phrases that begin with “Tell me why.., you will never believe..” No matter what it is, they are happy to hear it. Why does that feel so good? Do you have a place like that for the holidays or in your life for that matter?
I no longer hang out by the tetherball court at the playground anymore. We surround ourselves with people who are headed the same direction in life that we are, in this case recess. The anomaly of Cheers is the truth of our basic human need to belong, mingled with the falsehood of the best places to get it. You may have heard:
“Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson’s posted on instagram, “I don’t want to be on this earth anymore” and "I'm doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don't know how much longer I can last.”
Coming up next time, we will continue the theme of “belonging.” There seems to be a counterfeit, a bootleg, a phantom, an antichrist that runs deeper than popery potpourri.
For now, there are two χειρός in John chapter 10. One in verse 28 and another in verse 29. If you belong to Christ, by direct implication you belong to the Father. Which means you are in extremely good hands.
Whether you celebrate or not, have family or not, I pray this season you surround yourselves with the love, joy and peace that comes only from Emmanuel.