Ashes: Isolation // Together

March 31st

Writer: Cori Reed

Key Passage: Ecclesiastes 4:4-12; Hebrews 10:24-25

Big Idea: Ironically in our culture the more tied we are to social media – the more isolated we become. In today’s passage we look at a passage read at wedding ceremonies. God designed us to be in community. What gives our lives meaning: Life together Community. 

My son has struggled with anxiety and depression this year. At the very core of his depression, he cried one night as he was sharing that he just feels so alone.  There was deep anguish in his eyes, and pain filled my heart. This feeling of being alone, of feeling lonely is devastating. Have you ever been at a point in your life where you have felt alone?  Research has been conducted about the devastating effects of loneliness; “In the last decade alone, physicians and researchers have begun looking deeply into the impact of loneliness and social isolation on health, well-being, and mortality. The data on the subject is overwhelming: a lonely person is significantly more likely to suffer an early death than a non-lonely one (Medical Daily).” I had read in various articles that they are now saying in today’s culture loneliness trumps other major concerns such as smoking and obesity, “Loneliness is a growing health epidemic (Health News).”

Isolation and loneliness are not God’s design, nor His desire for our lives.  He created us for community. Ecclesiastes was one of my favorite books of the Bible in college.  I love that it spells out how so many things are meaningless. In a way it can be seen as a depressing book, but to me it just makes so much sense.  Ecclesiastes 4:8 says, “There was a man all alone…” It is meaningless for man to be alone because one thing that gives our life meaning is life together, which is community. The verses go on to explain, in a very practical way, why two or more people are better than just a man all alone.  Hebrews 10:24-25 is a very pastoral charge and encouragement from the author that we need to be there for one another in this journey of life.  The author knew we need each other in order to flourish. In vs. 25 the author spells out what community is. It is being together intentionally, it is accountability and it is encouragement.

It is a win for Satan when he can get people to feel isolated and alone, because when that happens we don’t thrive, and according to the above-mentioned article, we suffer greatly. We cannot grow in this life all on our own. We need each other, we need community, because without it life is not meaningful, it is meaningless.

Readings: Genesis 2:20b-22, Acts 2:42,Proverbs 27:17,Romans 12:5

Discussion Questions:

  • Share a time where you felt alone?
  • How have we gotten to this point where loneliness is at an all-time high?
  • What ways can you look and listen for opportunities to show God’s love to others?
  • What things in your life need to change to make community more of a priority?

Daily Readings:

4/1 Ecclesiastes 7:1-12

4/2 Ecclesiastes 7:13-8:1

4/3 Ecclesiastes 8:2-10

4/4 Ecclesiastes 8:11-17

4/5 Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

4/6-7- Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

Prayer Focus: We are constantly surrounded by people and situations, this week let us pray with our eyes open, listen and look for opportunities to show God’s love to others.