I'm So Alone

A lot of experts agree that we are living in a crisis of isolation. The world is more populated than it ever has been. Our cities are more packed than they've ever been. Technology enables us to keep in touch with anyone anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. And yet people are alone. It's one of the tragedies of our time.

It's kind of like being adrift in an ocean and dying of thirst. There's water everywhere, and you can't drink any of it. For some of us, there are people everywhere, and we know none of them.

Alienation, isolation, and rejection are some of life's most painful wounds. But Jesus invites us to come close, the same as he did with countless other dispossessed people (Mary Magdalene, woman at the well, Zacchaeus, demon-possessed streaker in the cemetery, etc).

But Jesus himself also knew rejection. There's a little story in Matthew 13:54-58 that tells about the time Jesus showed up preaching in his own hometown. When the found out who he was, they ran him out of town. Luke's version of the story says they wanted him gone so badly, they tried to throw him off a cliff.

His ultimate rejection came the final week of his ministry: he knew betrayal, abandonment, and rejection by society. But he took the curse of rejection on himself. He experienced his own alienation from God ("my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?") and took on our alienation so we could know God. He was rejected by men; and he still is.

Jesus destroys the curse of alienation, isolation, and rejection with himself, and then he gives us the gift of the church as companionship and family.