The Bible has a lot to say about poverty. Most of it refers to material poverty—which is why we are focusing on that this series—but the Bible also recognizes the poverty of isolation, loneliness and invisibility.
The Bible has a lot to say about poverty. Most of it refers to material poverty—which is why we are focusing on that this series—but the Bible also recognizes the poverty of isolation, loneliness and invisibility. In the very beginning God makes it clear that it is not good for human beings to be isolated (Gen. 2:18). We need to be connected to one another in community. We need the give-and-take of relationships—its what we were designed for. We become less real, less fully human, when we are denied basic connections and relationships we were designed to enjoy.
Greg listed many circumstances that people find themselves in that can lead to isolation. The Bible mentions widows and orphans frequently, as well as the sick, imprisoned, and oppressed. Examples today could include all of these as well as the elderly abandoned by their families, the mentally and/or physically challenged, the homeless and the list goes on. It may well be that our own coworkers, or our neighbors suffer from one or more of these scenarios.
A part of today’s message is that when we are cared for and loved, it changes us. It makes us more fully human. It also changes the one who loves and cares for another. It enriches their life too because they are participating in what God is doing in the world by loving their neighbor. In Matt. 25:35-36 we see that Jesus puts great emphasis on how we respond to the isolated and the lonely. In fact, whatever we do for them Jesus says we do for him as well.