Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Gen 2:18
Loneliness is hardly new – it makes its first appearance in the bible in chapter two, as quoted above. However, in recent years loneliness has been recognised as a major health hazard contributing to rises in depression, anxiety and even suicide. In the UK a 2017 research report by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness showed that two hundred thousand older Britons had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month! In the United States the proportion of single -person households has more than doubled in the past fifty years and in large cities they represent 40% of households.
Community life is more important than ever before! I believe God called believers to start covenant communities like ours back in the 1970’s and 80’s for ‘such a time as this’. It is critical that we do not allow the current Covid-19 crisis to cause us to lose our vision and desire for community life. The following is a quote from the book “Morality” by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks whom Michael McGrillen mentioned in his teaching yesterday:
“The human condition is overwhelmingly about relationships – about faithfulness, staying true, loyal and committed to one another despite all the tensions, setbacks, misunderstandings, backslidings, and all the multiple ways in which we fall short. It is about consecrating the bonds between us. It is about transcending our solitude. The over – emphasis on the “I” and the loss of “We” leaves us isolated and vulnerable. It is not good to be alone.”
I encourage you to take every opportunity you have to foster godly relationships and build community. Attend our Sunday Gathering wherever possible (every third week from August); meet with others in small groups; watch the Gathering online with a few others at home; support cluster prayer! It is not good to be alone!