You may be surprised to realize what is considered a "health crisis" today. Maybe you don't believe it to be true. Whether you agree that this is a health crisis or not, you cannot ignore the fact that it is impacting the world today at an increasingly fast pace. Some countries are adding new government positions to address the need. (Meet the new "Minister of Loneliness for the UK). Social Media certainly has a voice in this epidemic. It's the great and tragic irony of social media which promotes connectedness and relationships deepening that can actually serve to advance this epidemic at warp speed.
Am I talking about a disease? Am I referring to the Opioid crisis? Or, am I addressing something entirely different? What we are seeing is that simple isolation is the hidden and silent crisis of our day.
We can actually learn a lot from the created world about how God intended for His creation to thrive. Think of the animals in Africa that travel in herds or packs in order to find safety and security. Or, what about the giant sequoia trees on the pacific coast? Did you realize these majestic trees are able to withstand the wind and storms of that environment primarily because they exist in groves and their root systems are interconnected? One would assume it's the depths of the roots that matter most, but the trees are more dependent on the "connections" of the root system.
Not only does creation teach us this lesson, but the CREATOR ultimately shows us the way even more clearly. In fact, in Genesis 1:26 we see that God actually "exists" in community. Let "us" make man in "our" image after "our" likeness. Who's He talking about? Well, our God exists in relationship, in a "triune" existence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, since all humans are made in His Image, we can know that everyone on the planet was created with this innate sense of a need to exist in community, and ultimately to know this Triune God who created all things.
Now, the story in Genesis doesn't end in chapter 1. In Chapter 3 and 4 we see the massive effects of sin on community and the havoc it wreaks on relationships.
Who can help us from this temptation to turn inward and isolate from other people? What will make a difference in the "troubled waters" of relationships? Thankfully, we are not without hope. Jesus didn't only come to take us to Heaven when we die. He came to bring redemption to all things...including our relationships. Jesus has come to "re-create" the community we were made for in the beginning (Colossians 3:9-10)! That's a message of hope that we all need!
Let's come together to learn more about the impact of loneliness and isolation on each of us, our neighbors, and every person we interact with. We will explore ways to bring hope to this "crisis" and also to practice together how to bring light into the darkness of this crisis. Please make plans to join us for this Equip Night on March 6th. Find out more info and register here: www.brookstonechurch.org/epidemic