God Creates Us for Fellowship with Himself and Our Neighbor
I am a homebody. An introvert. Home is a comfortable place for me, a refuge. Staying in my cozy living room with a book or sitting at my desk studying God’s Word or writing can be enough for me. I get lost in my own world. Watching the people through my front window is so much easier than thinking about what to say to people I don’t really know. But God calls me to do more. He created me for fellowship, first with Himself, and then with my neighbor.
When asked what the greatest commandment in the law was, Jesus replied,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-39)
We wrote this verse in our entry hall, close to the front door, as a reminder of the kind of home we want to have: a place where God is always first. A place where we welcome others.
That means doing more than wave hello to our neighbors as we go about our daily, mundane tasks. Instead of just making our entryway pretty, we want to be people who care about our neighbor, each individual we see coming and going. Get to know them.
How to Love Our Neighbor
For me that means leaving my comfort zone, stepping out of the house and walking across the street when I see my neighbor in her garden. Or taking a plate of cookies to the single woman, Mary, who moved in only a week before we did.
A different neighbor came by one afternoon while I was running errands and left a note inviting me to the monthly neighborhood Lady’s Coffee Chatter. She included her contact information. It took every ounce of courage for me to call Dee and thank her for the invitation, but choosing to stay home meant missing the opportunity God gave me to meet the women He placed close by. When I took that step of faith, trusting God to pave the way, my voice didn’t tremble and I didn’t stumble for words.
And I enjoyed every new neighbor I met at that social.
Now, as I get to know each person, I can be the kind of neighbor Jesus called me to be. Conversation brings the opportunity to pray with people, letting them see God’s love and care. If someone needs a meal, a ride to the market or church, help with a leaky faucet, Van and I can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We can let others help us, too. Just like Dee invited me to the Lady’s Coffee Chatter and made me feel welcome in my new neighborhood. My new neighbors can give advice about the best restaurants. Community and fellowship, just as God intended.
Prayer to Love Our Neighbor, Matthew 22:37-39
Lord, we love You with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our mind. Thank You for each person in our neighborhood. We want to honor You by reaching out to each one. Give us a soft heart, that sees each person, listens, cares, and loves like You love. Help us step out our front door and into the lives of our neighbor. Show us the ways we can meet the needs of others. Develop friendships. We want to love our neighbor as ourselves, Lord. Open our eyes to see what You see and respond as You want us to respond. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This is Day Five of #write31days2017. For an index of all the posts in the series, click here.