In April of this year, Vox ran an article entitled, “The Big Business of Loneliness.” Laura Entis argued in the piece that
“Loneliness is pervasive, particularly among younger people. We’re moving across the country… We’re delaying marriage and kids, or skipping them entirely. We’re working all the time, often alone.”
Ben Smith saw this rise in loneliness as a business opportunity. He is the CEO and co-founder of Tribe, a co-living space in Brooklyn. With furnished rooms, shared bathrooms and kitchen and lots of people to talk with, Tribe’s motto is, “We help you make friends.”
As marriage and family is changing, loneliness seems to be rising. This summer our goal in Wisdomfest (our summer sermon series) is to dissect the purpose, cause, and cure of loneliness. We want to understand more clearly what it is and listen more carefully to what it is saying. The gospel story provides us with a framework to interpret the message of loneliness.
- God created us alone together.
- Sin twists aloneness and togetherness.
- Jesus redeems us alone together.
Listening to loneliness through the grid of the gospel enables us to hear our need for God. Loneliness is a feeling that comes when our souls are hungry for God. And loneliness is an invitation to move toward community. We can be alone but not lonely, or lonely but not alone. Loneliness is the feeling that emerges when our social experiences fail to meet our social expectations. This disparity can be complicated by fear and distrust. So, more than a communal living space, we desperately need the love of Jesus to heal and help us as we move toward one another.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16