This week, I had intended to write on the subject of loneliness. It is not a new problem, but it’s one that has been exacerbated in our current COVID-19 climate. People are having to come to terms with solitude who have never had to do so before and are, as such, completely unprepared for it.

John Piper: Fighting Loneliness in the Coronavirus Outbreak

What is the Christian response to Coronavirus-induced loneliness? This morning, I read a transcript of an interview with John Piper in which he deals with this issue very appropriately. Instead of saying the same things a different way, I have decided to post a link to his blog. Read or listen here:

Duty of Care

I would add one thing to John Piper’s blog. I recently listened to a sermon on Moses at the burning bush by Rev Mark Macleod of South Harris Free Church. He pointed out that a central part of Moses’ training for leadership was spending forty years tending to sheep in relative isolation. It was this training, with its associated loneliness, which qualified him to minister to the Children of Israel. He used what he had learned to lead them with wisdom, sympathy and understanding through their own wilderness wanderings.

In terms of application, it was pointed out that isolation is no new thing to many in our congregations and communities. For many who are elderly or unwell, it is a part of life. That will, no doubt, be intensified in these days. However, it’s likely that those who have been dealing with loneliness for years will be better equipped, not only to deal with Coronavirus-induced loneliness, but also to minister to those who are struggling through a relatively new experience. The wisdom, advice and encouragement of those who have learned to deal with loneliness before now will be invaluable in these days to those who have not.

If you are newly isolated and are struggling, pick up the phone and speak to someone who can help you. If you have been historically isolated, pick up the phone and speak to someone who you can help. We owe a duty of care to each other, in both physical things and spiritual things.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

You can listen to the full sermon here: