Indelible Grace Church

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An Epidemic of Loneliness

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One of the things going on in the culture is a full-blown epidemic of loneliness and disconnection. There are countless social science metrics that demonstrate this: the decline of voluntary associations, less people getting married, rising rates of addiction. Partly, it's technology -- which gives us superficial connectivity, but crowds out real human interaction. Partly, it's a culture of individualism -- no one has the right to tell me how to live.

But a major component is the loss of spirituality in our nation. Community, real community, requires sacrifice and an ethos of service. Because friendships make demands on us -- they're often inconvenient, messy, and incompatible with our personal ambitions. A world in which personal fulfillment and material gain is the end goal just isn't robust enough to carry the weight of thick community.

The antidote is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus calls us, not just to individual salvation, but to communal salvation and a life full of rich relationships (with God and with others). Indeed, relationships is the meaning of the universe. It is astonishing the deep truth that the Triune God is a community of persons loving each other in deep relationship from all eternity. The gospel calls us into that divine community and into fellowship with each other.

Okay, that sounds rather abstract. What can we do as a church? So, so much! We can prioritize church in our lives. We can throw ourselves into community group and discipleship groups. And, we can rediscover the lost art of hospitality. We should invite each other into our homes, share a meal, and share our lives.

And to that end, we have a specific ministry project: Match-Up Meals. (See picture of last year's Fall Match-up Meals.) When members of IGC sign up, they will be matched up with others in the church (in groups of four) to practice the spiritual discipline of hospitality for a single evening. It's a small and modest step. But it's one more way we can push against the broader cultural decay of individualism and loneliness, and establish little islands of friendship and connection and hope. And who knows, the Bible says believers have hosted angels unawares in doing so (Hebrews 13:2).

Last Updated on Monday, 13 January 2020 22:26