From the very beginning of Scripture, the assessment "it is not good to be alone" is presented. This “not good” experience of loneliness is more common than you think.
I’m Larry Szyman, one of the pastors of Faith Community and as you can imagine, loneliness is on the rise during this COVID season as roughly one-third of American adults report feeling lonelier than usual.
I’m grateful that we possess technology such as FaceTime and Zoom. But even in our tech-saturated world, the absence of face-to-face interaction and touch is no small matter.
Inc magazine reports that loneliness can be as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and the lonely are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.
It is good news that things are loosening up and more interaction is happening. Yet if you possess risk factors, wisdom and social distancing are called for. I have two suggestions today if you are feeling particularly lonely.
Hear me out. I’m not talking about learning about Jesus, but a relationship with Him. Jesus was so much more than a great teacher or model or a rule giver--and He knows what it is to be alone--He’s been there.
It is well documented that in His most crucial time on earth, He was betrayed, denied and abandoned by those closest to Him as he unjustly faced trial and execution. Jesus knows loneliness.
Ultimately an unhindered relationship between Him and God the Father is what allowed Jesus to continue in the stresses of life with hope, and joy. But there even came a point during His execution on a cross, where Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Amazingly, Jesus’ loneliness and death on a cross was part of a glorious strategy planned by the Father and the Son, so that we could meet, know and follow Jesus. He became lonely so that He could keep this promise to His followers: "I will never leave you or forsake you."
You may think that is all well and good but the loneliness you feel is the flesh and blood variety. God’s plan for our well-being includes Jesus AND those who follow Him, also known as the body of Christ, the church. God became flesh and blood in Jesus and His followers are the present-day flesh and blood through whom God’s relational work continues. If you don’t have a home church, we would welcome hearing from you, because you matter to God and you matter to us. We can get you connected with others to walk alongside you and you them.
I hope you find these thoughts helpful as you consider how to live in the midst of a COVID community. If so, could you share this link with someone you care about, perhaps someone you know who is lonely? Thanks. We look forward to seeing you again next week for Faith and Life.
We can approach the future with hope, even if our candidate loses.
In this week's episode of FAITH & Life, Pastor Larry Szyman takes us on a brief journey to consider our future as a new season of reopening unfolds. Could it be better than the pre-COVID era? Try this exercise.
It’s hard to believe that something so significant could happen that it would replace COVID in the headlines, but it has. Another charged incident of racial conflict and death has grabbed our attention. What has set off the explosion in MPLS are the differences; what will set healing into motion are the similarities. Watch this week's FAITH & Life as Pastor Larry Szyman explains.
Over the last couple of months, not only have we been confronted with a virus, but we have also been confronted with our illusion of control in our lives. Watch this week's FAITH & Life video, as Pastor Tim Porter shares the invitation Jesus gives us to trust God with the things we cannot control.
To mask or not to mask, is that the question? Opinions abound on how we should move forward in this pandemic.
Are you finding it difficult, stressful, or downright impossible to teach your children at home? Find encouragement from Shannon Christopher in this week's FAITH & Life video.
Are you frustrated with all the changes and lack of progress brought about by COVID-19? I think we all are to some extent. But God calls us to use our frustration as a tool of transformation in our lives.
Struggling with grief, sadness, or depression? Pastor Pat Stream, Pastor of Counseling at FCC, shares the hope that's ours, and invites you to an online event called Faith & Life Conversations.
Moms, are you feeling weary from the abrupt transition to the combined role of Wife, Mom, Teacher and/or Employee? Well, this week's FAITH & Life video is for YOU. Tracy McCutcheon, Director of Women's Ministry at FCC, shares hope-filled encouragement to the worn and weary: "Moms, you’re not alone. You aren’t the first woman who’s felt like this, and God wants to bring His perspective of hope and peace to you."
Over the last several weeks, almost 17 million people have lost their jobs in our country. MANY OF US are experiencing this emotional and economic hardship and ALMOST ALL OF US fear that we may be the next to hear our job is gone. In this Faith & Life video, Pastor Steve Holsteen tells us how God brings us hope in the shadow of job loss.
"Hope is only as helpful as what we are hoping in... our hope needs to be anchored to something more powerful than the things threatening us." In today's FAITH & Life video, Pastor Larry Szyman tells us about a Hope that will carry you through whatever trials you face.
In today's FAITH & Life video, Pastor Steve Holsteen shows us how the Holy Spirit establishes rhythms of relationship and a pulse of purpose in our lives during this time of physical distancing and "Safer at Home."