Many people struggle with chronic loneliness, a sickness not always alleviated by the presence of other people. Why do we, in spite of all the people around us, feel so disconnected? Chuck and Aaron talk about how our culture became so bored, how this boredom cannot be alleviated by joining special interest clubs, and how having a relationship with Jesus in the Christian Church not only alleviates our chronic boredom but connects us to the heart of God.
Loneliness is a massive problem in our culture. This is not just an issue for people who are “alone,” but it’s now also affecting us when we are with other people: at our jobs, in our marriages, with our kids, in our churches. In fact, there is some evidence that being around other people can exacerbate these feelings of disconnection. And the reasons for this chronic loneliness are cultural: since we in the West have removed God from the middle of the room (and, in the 20th century, have also removed Science from the middle of the room), we have now placed ourselves in the role of ultimate sovereign over our own existence.
While this power is sweet and addictive it means that we are, by necessity, alone. To have the relationships needed to alleviate this loneliness would mean giving up this authority to other people. The only solution is to find our True North in the nature of God himself. And since God is, from eternity, in relationship – and this is what Christians mean by the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, have eternally been in relationship with each other – the only real solution to our disenfranchisement is being connected with this God.
The Christian Church is the place where this experience happens. And unlike special interest groups which can only be made up of people who think, act, and talk alike, the Christian church is defined by its unity in diversity: a place where we are not identified by our gender, our ethnicity, or our socioeconomic status, but by our connection to the triune God. This relationship in Jesus, reflecting the inner life of the Trinity, is ultimately the only true relief from chronic loneliness.