Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Popular TV theme songs through the years such as "Friends", "Cheers", and "All in the Family" reflect the need in our society to find a place of togetherness and belonging. God’s Word has always known and revealed this deep need within people as well as

Ecc. 4:9-12

Popular TV theme songs through the years such as "Friends", "Cheers", and "All in the Family" reflect the need in our society to find a place of togetherness and belonging. God’s Word has always known and revealed this deep need within people as well as the Church’s responsibility to help meet this need.

Play audio clips from the TV shows: Friends, All in the Family, and Cheers.

As we listened to the theme songs from three of the most popular shows over the last 20 years or so, I hope you picked up on the common thread running through them. And that common thread is the sense of belonging. A sense of togetherness. They were a group, a community,

Did you catch any of the themes? I think they were summed up in that last song, the one that has probably become the most famous TV theme of the last twenty years:

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came; You want to be where you can see, Our troubles are all the same; You want to be where everybody knows your name.”

And whether it was Seinfeld or Family ties, Cheers or Friends - they were all popular because they made us feel like a part of a family or a community. They gave us a sense of belonging, of being with a group where "Everybody knows your name". And we need that.

And I think that’s one reason those shows were so popular. They spoke to one of the base human needs that we are created with. The need to belong to a group.

Look at our text this morning – READ Ecc. 4:9-12

Now let’s understand that this is a need that we were created with. God looked down on Adam in the Garden of Eden and said it’s not good for man to be alone. From the first person God attempted to help us solve the problem of loneliness and not belonging. That need has remained and it’s not just our need but a need of each and every individual. That’s one of the beautiful things about the church - it gives that fulfillment of belonging.

And if we want to make a difference then we create in this congregation a place of genuine community. A place for people to gather and belong and grow and become what God wants us to be.

And we will make a difference because there is so much need out there for belonging and companionship.

I mean, if there’s one thing I’ve seen in the last 15 years of ministry, it’s that there is a great deal of loneliness out there. And it can hit anyone and everyone. It can even hit those in the church if the church isn’t taking time to be aware of those needs.

One of the most fascinating stories I’ve heard in awhile concerns the minister of a church in Nevada. It is a growing church, a large church, but several years ago, just after they broke ground on a new building the minister’s wife hit him with the news that she was leaving him for another man.

He was devastated and he immediately turned in his resignation. He had done nothing wrong, he had been faithful, but his wife had decided to leave. Because of this the church decided to keep him as their minister.

The church continued to grow over the years. But the minister, who I have heard speak on several occasions, said he was deeply wounded and hurt by the divorce. And he said the Christmas Eve after his divorce was the loneliest night of his life.

He had just finished the Christmas Eve service, 2200 had attended and everyone went off to their families and he went home alone. He got home and he said he was hungry but there was nothing to eat in the house so he decided to go out. It was Christmas Eve, nothing was open. McDonalds. Burger King. All closed.

He ended up at a little diner, just outside of Las Vegas called Sam’s place, which is a western style casino, and they had a restaurant that was open.

He walked into the diner, and sat by himself in a booth for four. He said it was like a bad dream, and these are his words: "I sat there eating a blue plate special thinking; I can’t believe this is me. I just left 2200 people that love me and I’m here alone eating mashed potatoes and gravy.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, someone put a quarter in the jukebox and Elvis started singing "Are you lonesome tonight."

And he said as he walked through the casino to get back to his car he saw hundreds of people who had nothing better to do on Christmas Eve than sit by themselves plugging quarters in a machine. It was a lesson in the loneliness that is prevalent in people’s lives.

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