“In this paper we present a detailed synthesis of the development of the Human Genome Project (HGP) from the mid 1980s through 2000, in order to test our hypothesis of “social bubbles”, which claims that strong social interactions between enthusiastic supporters weave a network of reinforcing feedbacks that lead to widespread endorsement and extraordinary commitment by those involved.”

Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either, but it’s the first non-coronavirus reference I found. A social bubble to me is a new innovation during coronavirus, whose primary purpose seems to be allowing grandparents to see and embrace their grandchildren. It emphasises how important human interaction is, and how awful it is when that interaction is broken. It happens when someone we love dies, or emigrates, or simply moves away. We feel the loss so deeply. I’m very fortunate that I can see one of my grandchildren, but not the two who live in England. It’s been weeks since I last saw them, and it hurts.

In the Bible a man called Jacob had a son, Joseph, the one of the technicolour dreamcoat fame. He had other sons too, who one day told him that Jospeh had been attacked and killed by a wild animal. Jacob was devastated. He refused to be comforted and said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.”(1) He did mourn too, unaware that his sons had lied to him. They had sold Joseph into slavery, because they hated him. Joseph was taken to Egypt where, through God’s overruling hand he became second only to Pharaoh. Under his authority, and careful planning, Egypt survived a deadly famine, with enough spare food to feed people from other countries. That’s how he met his brothers again, and ultimately was reunited with his father, Jacob. The scene when they met was very touching, “As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time. Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”(2) Israel is an alternative name for Jacob. Here you have a father and son reunited and loving each other’s company and embrace.

Jesus once left his Father to come to earth. Unlike Jacob, God the Father was fully aware of what was happening, and was in full agreement with Jesus leaving. They had agreed on a plan to restore mankind’s relationship with God. It meant Jesus living on earth as a man, dying on a cross at Calvary, and rising from the dead. When Jesus died he was sacrificing himself, being punished for our sins. Exercising faith in Jesus, and committing our lives to living for him, is what is necessary to bring mankind back into relationship with God, but it has to be a personal decision.

After he rose the dead, although it’s not explicitly stated in the Bible, we believe Jesus went back to heaven to see his Father. The first person to see him, after his resurrection, was Mary Magdalene, and he said to her, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.”(3) When he later met his disciples he said to one of them, Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.”(4) From don’t hold me to put your finger here, he must have made a quick journey to see his Father. Can you begin to imagine the meeting when Father and Son were reunited? Every time a gran or grandad sees a grandchild, in a social bubble, it’s a little reflection of that meeting in heaven.

Bible References
(1) Genesis 37:35
(2) Genesis 46:29,30
(3) John 20:17
(4) John 20:27