SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20120429: "Loneliness In Our Time"

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LONEliness in our time


        I remember standing over the grave of my 34 year old father, killed suddenly in a small plane crash. I was 14 and the oldest of 5 children. I looked up into the sky and saw a flight of geese and felt totally alone.

        The curse of pastoral care is loving people, nurturing and praying for them and feeling the sting of rejection when they spurn your love and care and leave.

        Final goodbyes in this life leave us fearful and lonely. I've officiated at more than 600 funerals in my ministerial career and still feel the emptiness of losing good friends.


        I read about a man at the age of 71, who had retired in the state of Detroit who spends most of his everyday playing solitaire - which is a card game that you play with yourself. In ten years playing this came he has recorded completion of 132,400 games, he has recorded the results of each one, and he can show any visitor six ledger books full with all the figures.


        There was once an advertisement in a Kansas newspaper that read like this: 'I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for five dollars'. It sounds like a hoax, doesn't it? But it wasn't long before that individual who had placed the advertisement in the newspaper was bombarded by about 10 to 20 calls a day. The pain of loneliness for some is so sharp that they were willing to try anything for half an hour of companionship.

        This sermon explores loneliness in our lives, and its roots in our present culture. . .




April 22, 2012 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland


LONEliness in our time

John 6:60-71

"We are conceived in our mother's womb, connected to her and the One who breathed life into the sacred act of love. But the umbelical cord is cut at birth and we lose both connections, becoming profoundly lonely." Pastor Phil  <><<


“Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.” Psalm 142:4


Five Reasons for Loneliness in Our Time:


            A. What Isolates us from one another Today?

                        1. 70% of Americans have many acquaintences, but few close                                       friends

                        2. Time Pressure - Do not feel we have enough time

                        3. Partisan Differences -   Religious Differences

                        4. Personality Differences

                                    a. Some need more "quiet time" - Solitude

                                    b. Some do not require heavy people contact

            B. Personal Values cut us off from One Another

                        1. Name the Top Ten priorities of your life

                                    a. What makes life worth living?

                                    b. What do you look forward to every day?

                        2. Does giving back to people appear on your list?

            C. Aging and Coping with its complications

            D. Maturation Issues can Isolate us from one another

                        1. Mature people are Autonomous

                        2. They don't need the affirmation of others to feel good

                        3. They are self-affirming and have good self-esteem

            E. What is a Close Friend? Prov. 18:24

            "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who

             sticks closer than a brother."

                        1. Been through hardship, pain and loss together

                        2. Friendship has been tested through time

                        3. Someone you can confide in

                        4. Non-Judgmental about your Choices in Life



            A. God has made us for Himself and for One Another

            B. We have a Colossial Indifference to one another and God

            Mother Teresa Quote:

            "The greatest disease of the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being        unwanted, unloved and uncared for. . ."



                        1. Substitute Money and What it Buys for God - Eccles. 5:15

                        "As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, To go

                         as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may

                         carry away in his hand."

                        2. Substitute Money for our Need for Each Other - Matt. 6:24

                        "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and

                         love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the

                         other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (money)

            C. The Greatest Fear of Mankind is Aloneness

                        1. Happens with Death, Grief and Sorrow

                        2. Our greatest Fears are Realized - Job 3:25

                        "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I

                         dreaded has happened to me."



            A. Email and Texting is replacing the Human Voice / Face to Face

                        1. Electronic Information/Communication is almost Instant

                        2. Lacks the Immediacy of Spoken Words

                        3. Texting is Fast, but Sterile - Void of Emotion

            B. Complete Communication Message

                        1. Voice Tone, Inflection and Volume are needed

                        2. Facial Expressions needed for Accurate Communication

                        3. Body Language - Position of Arms, Hands, Legs, Shoulders

                        4. Presence - Atmosphere around a Person

            C. The Ethernet has Shrunk our World

                        1. Technology Makes Instant Communication Possible

                        2. News happens in Seconds and Read On-Line as it Happens

            D. Today there are 845 Million persons on Facebook worldwide

                        1. One out of every 13 people on earth is on Facebook

                        2. Over 206 Million Internet Users in the US

                        3. 72% of all American Internet Users are on Facebook

                        4. Over 50% of them log on to Facebook every day

                        5. Percentage of People spend more than EIGHT HOURS daily

                        5. People are desperate for relationships / Profoundly Lonely



            A. Left behind our Family and Nurturing Friends

                        1. Young families have left our region by the hundreds

                        2. Must pursue employment for themselves and their families

            B. First half of last century, we had multi-family households

                        1. Clung together for survival under one roof

                        2. Nurtured one another through hard times

                        3. Had parenting, discipline and child care for young families

            C. Like Abraham who left the Comfort of Ur for the Land of Promise

                  1. Late August, 1976 we left So. Calif. for NE Ohio

                  2. Left Parents, grand-parents, relatives, and friends behind





            A. Betty White was interviewed last nite on CNN

                        1. Asked, "What was life's most memorable moment for you?"

                        2. She related that above her marriages and men she loved

                        3. One event stood out in life that she felt "connectedness"

                        4. Ninety minutes with "Coco" the signing guerilla

                        5. Amazing that with all the people in her long life

                        6. Only 90 minutes with an animal made her feel Connected

          B. We live Elevator Lives, Lots of People, But No Connection

                        1. We are made for God and Each Other

                        2. Need the Agape Connection

                        3. Adam was Lonely, and God gave him Eve

                        4. They were connected perfectly

                        5. Lost the Connection through Disobedience

            C. Jesus came and Restored our Connection to God

                        1. His Blood-Stained Cross is our Way back to God

                        2. Jesus took Adam's Curse and Lost Connection on Himself

                        3. His Cross Re-Connects us w/God and One Another

                        4. Have you found Jesus' Cure for Loneliness in our Time?

                        5. He's waiting for you to reach out to Him






John 6:60-71 (NIV)
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?
62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
70 Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"
71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)











Driving U-Haul’s largest cab-over truck in late August, 1976 in California high desert outside of Amboy on the old route 66.

It was 112 degrees in the evening shade. You could fry eggs on the cook of the truck. I was leaving my friends and family behind, traveling to a new life on NE Ohio. I felt very lonely and alone.



Isadora Duncan, whom some of you may know, was a great ballet dancer. She danced before the royalty of Europe, and was considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. She said these words: 'I have never been alone, but that my heart did not ache, my eyes fill with tears, and my hands tremble for a peace and a joy that I never found' - and she went on to say that in the midst of millions of admirers she was actually a very lonely woman. Surrounded by millions who adored her, yet a lonely soul!



Charles Swindoll, the Christian author and preacher, before his conversion he was a marine in the Marine Corps in the United States. On one occasion they were out for 17 days at sea. He writes that about the tenth day out, they were far removed from any body of land in the Pacific, and the waves were sometimes 30 or 40 feet high.

'The ship that looked enormous in that dock as we boarded it, now felt like a toothpick in the middle of the circle of the horizon. At that great moment I remembered Samuel Taylor Coleridge's words in the rhyme of the ancient Mariner', here it is:

'Alone, alone, all all alone,

       alone on a wide wide sea,

not a saint to pity on my soul in agony'."