One of the things I’ve been struck by in the past few weeks is the need for the church to change the narrative of what is going on in our society. On social media and in all forms of the media, too many people are playing the blame game, and very aggressively pointing the finger.
Yes, we need to hold people accountable, but we have to recognise that people are doing the best they can in a situation that is unprecedented and rather than criticising and spreading negativity, the church, and Christians like you and me, need to respond differently and through our words and our lives, on line, texting and face to face, bring hope, peace, love and help.
In the bible someone asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is and he says:
“‘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 neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus makes it clear that we are to love God and love our neighbour. Who is our neighbour? Jesus goes on in this passage to tell the story of the Good Samaritan to illustrate that our neighbour is anyone in this world, wherever they come from, and that includes the people closest to us.
A question I’m asking myself and I’m asking us today is: How can we bring a message of hope, of light and of love in the midst of all that is going on? What can we do to communicate a different message?
I heard a lovely story this week of a 5 year old boy who made hearts out of hammer beads for each of his neighbours. He put them in envelopes and it said love from and then his name and his house number. He put these through the doors of 49 houses in his street, and his mum said it has been overwhelming to see the response of their neighbours. People have send cards and pictures back and have said they have put them up in their windows and it has had such a positive effect on their streets and on building relationships.
What can we do to love our neighbours?
This crisis has not been brought about by God, but I believe that God is and God wants to mobilise his church to step out, take a risk and bring his kingdom in more and more. I want to be part of that. I want to bring light and hope and the truth into a hurting world.
We can start by praying for our neighbours that God would protect them, heal them if they are sick, and that they would be open to him.
We could send a card or leave a gift for them
We could invite them to the Sunday Live Streams of Questions of Life
We could ask them if there is anything we can be praying for them
We could ask God to show us what he would have us to
Let’s love our neighbour and bring the hope, the love and the help of Jesus.