We are called to more intentional care for one another by establishing a more nurturing faith community. That’s part of what it means to be Making a Place for Everyone.
A people of faith, our call to share in community with one another is not just about loving thy neighbor. Jesus says that our call as people of faith is to share as family with one another. We mourn together, rejoice together, weep together, and laugh together. This is not just our church, this is our family.
Sometimes, our fear of the other prohibits us from loving them as Christ commands. We need to stop giving credence to misperceptions that prohibit us from experiencing the fullness of God’s love in community.
Too often, we use the excuse that we’re just too “busy” to love our neighbors. But how we allocate our time should reflect our commitment to the Great Commandment, which calls us to love our neighbor.
You can’t love on the people around you if you don’t know them and know what they’re going through. We are gifted with the Spirit who leads us out into the world to speak such that others may hear of God’s great love.
It’s too easy to name excuses for why we don’t “Love thy neighbor.” We argue about who is our neighbor, and what it means to love them. So let’s start simple, and close to home. Do you know the names of your neighbors? No excuses, you can’t love well who you don’t know.
When we only do what we do because of surface level rationale like, “the Bible says so,” we tend to be dis-interested or marginally engaged. Knowing why we do something is necessary for deep faithfulness. This is vitally true for serving others. If we don’t know why we serve, can we really serve well?
Financial giving isn’t something we like to talk about – it ranks with religion and politics around the dinner table. Our hesitancy to talk about giving is a byproduct of our misunderstanding why we give. So let’s talk about it – why do you give?
Too often we are expected to follow along without knowing why we are doing what we are doing. Christian practices are no different, like prayer. Prayer isn’t meant to be a last ditch effort to get the Almighty to save us from our human failures. Prayer instead is an ongoing response to our joy in the Lord.
Easter is not a call to return to the way things were. It is a reminder that in Christ’s resurrection, God’s love wins out over death. It is an invitation to see ourselves redeemed in the reflection of God’s grace, as we hear our name called by the risen Lord, that we may go forth to share the good news, that Christ the Lord is risen today!