That feeling of loneliness we mentioned yesterday - remember it? For some people this is all they've known. Long-term friendlessness means deep suffering. How totally out of place is that in a good world created by a Father God?
Most churches are well-known for looking out for the homeless and poor; for helping society's forgotten people, and inviting them to a weekly service. For anyone who feels like an outcast, a real welcome to church is more than just finding a Spiritual home, it sometimes means feeling human for the first time.
Chronic loneliness also includes the single mother, and the socially awkward, unemployed kid who shows up and mumbles when you say hello. And what about those with severe autism? Jesus has an especially wide welcome for all of those we think are beyond our reach.
He came to '...seek and to save that which was lost' (Luke 19:10 NIV). That includes those we count as too small or too seemingly insignificant for God to go looking for. He wants to give them a home in a safe place, in close proximity to others. And He wants other Christians to be serious about welcoming them there. And that means each one of us.
So what now? Find it hard to talk to people with fewer social skills than you? Can you think of one person like that who you may bump into over the course of your day? Make a decision to chat to them for a while.
Soulfood : Ezek 40:10-42:20, Mk 14:53-72, Ps 73:17-28, Prov 15:22-24