Death is all around us.  We see it in nature since for all live things, continuing to live requires food.  Eat or be eaten.  We see it as we say goodbye to our friends and as our loved ones die.  We see it in ourselves, as we acknowledge the stiffening of our joints, feel our hearts skip a beat (and not for joy), and know that from the moment of our births, we are dying. 

 But death isn’t just physical.  We all face death every day, in large ways and small.  We grieve the fights and grudges that darken our days.  We suffer when our gifts and abilities, the best we’ve offered in our life’s work, are rejected.  We rage in frustration when our hopes and dreams are thwarted. 

Perhaps the most universal and daily way that we experience death is in loneliness.  We are all lonely sometimes.  In the words of Sting, “It seems we’re not alone in being alone.”  If it weren’t so tragic, we could laugh at the irony.

We are lonely as we wonder if anyone really loves us.  We are lonely as we realize that no one  truly knows us, any more than we truly know anyone else.  We are lonely as we realize that we don’t even really know ourselves.  Loneliness steals our identity.    

Here’s the thing:  You are not alone. 

Whatever your suffering, you are not alone.  There is One who has gone before you.  There is One who has experienced the worst that death has to offer, and who has broken the power of death.  And this One, this Jesus, this man who was also God, loves you beyond belief!  Jesus took on the suffering of the world. Jesus surrendered to death  because he loves YOU that much.

You are not alone.  We often talk about Jesus like he’s not in the room.  But he is. 

 Jesus walks with you in your darkness.  Did you know?  Your darkness won’t last forever.  Jesus has already won the battle.  Light is already pouring in.  Jesus is right now filling you with life.  Love is surrounding you.  Jesus is covering you with the power of his kingdom.

You are not alone.  In your crying, in your dancing, in your boredom, in your gladness, in your loneliness, you are not alone.