Kyle Thompson – College Minister
May 28, 2023
Memorial Day Weekend
Have you ever experienced loneliness?
- Even though our society is more connected than ever.
- Studies show that 60% of U.S. citizens feel lonely on a regular basis.
Why do so many experience loneliness? The author John Steinbeck once wrote a letter to the politician Adlai Stevenson, which was later published in the Washington Post in January of 1960. In it, Steinbeck said, “A strange species we are. [Humans] We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much, and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy, sick.”
Is it possible our abundance has created a greater distance between us?
Maybe people have tried to connect but find others to be too “busy” for friendship.
Still, others simply believe loneliness to be their lot in life and have stopped trying altogether.
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Have you ever had someone bring up your negative past?
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to god through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Paul doesn’t air the dirty laundry to make them feel bad.
He brings up the past to show them how far they have come through Christ.
We were DEAD, now we’re ALIVE.
Shiloh Road’s 2030 vision:
- Exalt Christ
- Encourage One Another
- Engage Our Neighbor
One way we attempt to Encourage One Another is through Small Groups.
Small Groups is how we fulfill the unity of the household of God in Ephesians 2. Through:
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
60% of U.S. citizens regularly feel lonely.
What if Shiloh was an exception to the statistics?
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.