The health services company, Cigna, just released the results of a national survey of 20,000 adults on the impact of loneliness:
- Nearly half of Americans report feeling alone or left out.
- Over 40 percent feel their relationships are not meaningful.
- 20 percent rarely or never feel close to people.
- Only about half have meaningful personal interactions (quality time) with others on a daily basis.
- Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and may be in worse health than older generations.
- And by the way, social media use is not a predictor of loneliness.
The bottom line: most American adults are lonely. And do I need to mention the devastating effects of all this loneliness?
Ezekiel 37 is the passage where God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the valley of dry bones. Ezekiel worked at a time when the people of Israel were in exile. The exiles described themselves as “cut off” from their people, their homes, and their faith. It’s amazing how many times the phrase “cut off” appears in the Bible. In a desert culture where connectedness was critical to survival, to be cut off from the community was a severe punishment. To be cut off from God was the worst thing of all.
Could it be that what people experience today is a problem of biblical proportions? They’re exiles, cut off from others and from God.
But there’s good news. There’s a place where four generations come together every week. It’s a place specifically designed to provide the connectedness that we were made and long for.
Come on church. We were made for this.