"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31
I love the start of a new season with all the changing colors, new smells, seasonal foods, drinks, and the ability to experience something new and exciting. Something about a new season feels like it is an opportunity to try something new, see something with a new perspective, or try something that challenges me to take a step of faith.
One of the things I am looking forward to in this new season is our upcoming at-home service weekend with middle school and high school students called MVMNT Weekend on October 8th and 9th. This weekend aims to inspire students to look around and do what they can to make a difference in their world by serving their community.
One of our core values here at Covenant is to be a church that is committed to being missional. Meaning that we believe that the world is not commanded to come to church, but instead, we are to be Christ's ambassadors where we live, work, and play.
We see this concept all throughout scripture. Much of Jesus' work and His disciple's ministry was on the road. Town by town. Community by community. He didn't sit in a temple waiting for people to show up but instead went to where the people were. He addressed their needs and spread the hope of the gospel.
Not all of us are called to be on the road traveling and sharing the good news. But it did get me thinking about is something we all can do where we are at today. What is one area we all could focus on to make a significant difference this fall?
Why? Caring for our neighbors is the gospel in action.
Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. But Jesus doesn't stop there. He says we are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.
I always wondered if the reason why Jesus said to love your neighbor is because it doesn't come naturally to us. It takes effort and deliberate action to love your neighbor. It is so easy to come home, park our car in the garage and never even see our neighbors.
But what if one of the best opportunities and missions' fields is right in our front porch or our backyard. The truth is that people come to your neighborhood before they come to church. So how can we love our neighbors as ourselves?
In this new season, there is a great opportunity to take a small step to get to love your neighbors. Maybe for you, this looks like:
- Introducing yourself to your neighbors and make a point to remember their names.
- Be intentional about asking your neighbor how they are doing.
- Lend a hand when you see your neighbor doing yard work or carrying groceries.
- Consider inviting them over for coffee on the porch or game night with your families.
- Ask your neighbor if there's anything you can pray about for them.
When we take the time to see our neighbors the way God sees them, you might see a change in not only their life but your heart.
You may feel more at home where you live. You may find more grace for the ones that annoy you by leaving their trashcan out for an extra day. You might find more joy when you take a walk. You might even make a new friend. But, most of all, I hope that your eyes are opened to the difference you can make in someone's life by taking the time to truly care.
Whatever it is, take a small step to love your neighbor. Taking a leap to get out of our comfort zones is a big deal. Imagine how God could use your love for your neighbor to change someone's life, for them to know someone cares enough to know their name.
All these little interactions have the potential to make a significant impact.
Pray and ask God to use you in this new season to impact your neighborhood. If you are looking for more ways to pray for your neighborhood, check out this 30 day devotional on the Bible app that guides you through different ways you can pray for your neighborhood: