At The Movies: Home Alone
By: Pastor Kent Munsey
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed.”
- 2 Timothy 4:16-17 (NIV)
Today we’re examining the holiday classic, Home Alone. Sociologists tell us that the most common emotional pain in our society is loneliness. It’s a tragedy because we were never created to be alone. The very first thing God ever said wasn’t good – was loneliness (Genesis 2:18). Even with all of the perfection of the Garden of Eden, God said, “I don’t want Adam to be alone.”
Some think that other people are the problem, and that life would be a lot better if we could just get away from all of these people in our lives – especially during the holidays. Sometimes instead of working to resolve our difficult relationships, we think it would be better just to be left home alone.
Now in a very humorous way, this movie shows how dangerous it was for Kevin to be home alone. He thought it would be a blast, but it wasn’t.
In 2 Timothy 4:16-17, the Apostle Paul talks about his loneliness. As an old man in a prison in Rome – waiting to be executed by Nero, all of his friends had left him. Paul was all alone. He says in verse 16, “no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.” This is the worst kind of loneliness--not the loneliness that we choose, but the feeling of being deserted by others.
In a big city like Chicago, surrounded by so many people, it’s surprising how easy it is to feel so alone. Often times we reach to fill the void of loneliness with everything but God. And like Kevin, we all discover that doing life alone is not as exhilarating as we hoped – especially when we find ourselves in a moment of crisis.
Sitting in a church, Kevin and his new older friend discover the solution to their loneliness. Kevin says, “When you don’t know what to do – when you’re afraid and alone – turn on the lights and you’ll discover that it’s no big deal.” Now – fear and loneliness are real struggles, but the Bible actually shows us how easy it is to turn on the lights.
There are three things that we can learn from 2 Timothy 4:16-17 about dealing with loneliness and rejection.
Realize the hurt. One of the most freeing things you can do is realize the hurt, forgive and let God settle the score. If you want the ultimate White Christmas, it’s not the snow on the ground; it’s the condition of your heart. That happens when you realize the hurt and forgive as you have been forgiven.
Recognize God’s presence. Do you want to know where God is when you’re lonely? He’s right there with you. The Bible says in Matthew 1:23 that, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” --which means, “God with us.”
Refocus your life. Paul was lonely in prison, but it gave him the chance to refocus and help others. He said his loneliness happened “so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed.” Christmas is the perfect time to refocus our lives on others – there is opportunity all around us. The world is full of people waiting to be loved.
If all you did for the rest of your life was commit yourself to being a friend to people who are lonely, you'd make something significant of your life. Today is your day to get out from under the bed and attack your loneliness and fears.
Only God can heal your heart. The reason we feel lonely so much of the time is because we expect people to meet the needs in our lives that only Jesus Christ can meet. No other person will ever be able to meet those needs in your life because they’re spiritual. When you invite Christ into your life and ask His Spirit to fill you, He puts His presence in you, a presence that will never, ever leave you. Regardless of why you feel lonely, God says this to you today: “I made you. I put you on this earth for a purpose. I care about you. I love you. I have a plan for your life.”
What we often call loneliness is really homesickness for God. We've just never recognized it. We were made to have an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, His Son died so you could have that relationship with God. No person, no experience, no substance, no success, no possession, no fame, nothing is going to fill that aching hole in your heart that God created for Himself.
Have you ever felt like Kevin in Home Alone, wishing that your family or the people around you would just disappear?
Are there any difficult relationships that you are avoiding right now?
What is the hurt beneath your broken relationship or your loneliness? Ask God to help you forgive any hurt and give it to God.
Ask God where he is in your current situation. Reflect on how he has showed up for you this season.
What is God calling you to refocus your life on in this season? Who has he placed around you who needs your encouragement or your friendship?