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This is the season of Lent, the season of loneliness for Christ. He knew his loneliness would deepen and that he would face being forsaken by God on the cross. Judas would sell Him. Peter would deny him. The disciples would flee in panic. The fury of Jerusalem's citizens would know no mercy. The Jewish council and Roman officials wanted to rid themselves of him. Loneliness; oh the pain of it brought to our Savior. . . 

This is the season of Lent: What shall we think about?

Our thoughts are with Christ and his loneliness. Our thoughts are also with the many lonely people. Of all the hardships people suffer, loneliness presses hardest. It makes its entrance among the homeless, but also slips into executive mansions. It is found in hospitals and fashionable condos. It holds a prison cell in its icy grip, and the corner office of a bank building, too. It gnaws at the heart of a high school student, a celebrated leader, a worrying parent, a CEO.

You, as pastors, elders, and more, have members entrusted to your care who know loneliness. There will be some whose loneliness is known to you: the sick, the elderly, the shut-ins, and those struggling with lack of income. Reaching out to them will be deeply appreciated. One visit a season is better than none. But once you begin to sense their loneliness you will want to make repeat visits. And you will be blessed for it.

But there will also be members in your district who are lonely and you had not realized it. How can you find out? By making the rounds. There is no substitute for visiting the members entrusted to your care. Once trust has been established the members will tell you about themselves—only a bit at first, then gradually more. They will tell of their loneliness if that's what burdens them.

This could be your most meaningful Lenten season yet. Make your calls. Pray for your people. Talk to your Savior about your members. Lift them up in prayer. Share with them the Christ who has been there.


Hello Rev. Tamminga,

Thank you for writing this essay.  I appreciated the reminder that loneliness shows no favoritism.  And that we all benefit from elder (or pastor) visits.  I feel increasingly called to make more of these visits as a pastor.  And in doing so, I hope to encourage a culture of visiting in my congregation.

Have a blessed Lenten journey,


Thanks so much for your good words, Leon!

You yourself will be the beneficiary of what you propose.

Hurrah for Southern Alberta!


(sorry for the delay of my response...)




Great post! I am a partial shut-in and would really appreciate a visit to both help and receive! I did get a voice mail introducing himself. I know they are busy too so I hope they can find the time and energy! Thx

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