American writer Kurt Vonnegut referred to himself as ‘Christ-worshipping agnostic’.[1] He also looked at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes as guides for his own moral code.

Though he lacked faith for himself, he borrowed freely from the treasures of faith. He made this observation about how people can do something to show hospitality.

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously... But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.[2]

One of the greatest resources found in the church is its capacity for hospitality and connected relationships. I realize that we have chairs instead of traditional church pews, but the idea of building relationships within the church community is an essential step to combating loneliness. 

Philippians 2:
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

If you wait for others to notice your loneliness and expect them to resolve it, you will be sorely disappointed.  You must take ownership of your loneliness and seek out relationships that will be good for you. 

Some make the mistake of seeking out relationships that are unhealthy.  Friendships based on sex, substance abuse or mutual dysfunction will not provide lasting solutions to the problem of loneliness.  We need to seek a few friends with whom we share a sense of common direction. 

Different relationships serve different purposes in our growth and development as a person.  The New Testament church focused on the importance of being together and stimulating personal growth in one another.

Hebrews 10:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

If you are blue, share your pew.  The hymn writer wrote ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’.  May it also be said ‘What A Friend We Have In Each Other.’  Let’s take steps to erase loneliness in our midst.

[1] Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, Random House ©1982, p.327