He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (NRSV)
My home in Massachusetts was set 800 feet back from a two mile stretch of road, surrounded by woods. The only season of the year that we were aware of people living next door to us was in the late fall and winter when the leaves had fallen off the trees. We had little, if any, interaction with our next-door neighbors. It was my friend, Connie, who taught me that the neighbor Jesus referred to was anyone who came across our path. On our weekly Friday morning walks, Connie would interrupt our conversation to offer a friendly “good morning” to other walkers. A few years ago, she and her daughter began sending handmade cards to people on the prayer list at their church. I think of Connie often as I endeavor to model her cheerful hello on my walks. Her weekly practice of sending cards inspires me to want to do the same.
In this time of hunkering down at home, while we do our best to take care of our ourselves and to discover new rhythms to our days, I know that we all crave meaningful connection with others. Because of God’s deep love for us, we are comforted and have hope. Jesus invites us to pass along that same love and hope to our neighbor. Our neighbor is our spouse, our children, our parents, the fellow walker, or the cashier at the grocery store. It is in the smiles, our friendly hello, our prayers, and offers of help that we will find that connection to one another and spread God’s love.
Director of Children’s Ministry
- As you are walking the dog, riding your bike, or buying your groceries, practice saying “hello!” For fun, count how many times you say hello to people you don’t know today. Did they say hello to you or smile back at you? Even if they don’t, you were spreading God’s love!
- Be creative and create two homemade cards that will make someone else smile! Give one to someone in your family and put one on a neighbor’s door.
Dear God, thank you for blessing us with family, friends, and neighbors all around us. Help us to be kind like Jesus and to spread your love. Please show us ways to be a good neighbor and a helper to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.