May 20, 2019

The Greatest Commandment

May 20, 2019


Today’s reading: Matthew 22:34-40
This week’s challenge: WALK


“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Jesus 

In their book, The Simplest Way to Change the World, Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements write, “If you never leave your humble abode, you’ll never meet any of your neighbors.” (97). If we are called to love our neighbors as Jesus did, we’ll need to know their pains and joys. But how can we know them without intentionally seeking them out? 

This week’s challenge: Walk. This week take at least a day, preferably more (at different times of day), to walk your immediate neighborhood. This can be your street, or if your neighborhood is not conducive to walking, perhaps your downtown area. Pray for God to open your eyes. What do you see? Are there people out walking dogs or pushing strollers? Are there people working in their yards? Or is it quiet? Is everyone inside? What needs do you notice? Does anyone’s yard need trimming? Is there a parent wrangling kids into or out of car seats?  Does God direct your attention to anyone specifically? Simply notice what God shows you. 

Ideas to complete this challenge: 

  1. Plan a silent walk with your family or with friends. At the end of the walk, discuss what you saw. Notice how we all see different things.  

  2. Take a journal with you as you go for a walk around the block. Jot down anything that stands out to you.  

  3. If on your commute, you may see the same person on a particular corner with a sign asking for money or work. This week, ask them their name and introduce yourself. Then greet them every time you drive by. If you have time, listen to their story and get to know them.  

  4. Don’t forget to stop by the Neighbor Wall outside of Haney Hall on your way to worship this weekend to mark your progress and how you were able to pray for, communicate with, and invite your neighbors into deeper relationship this week! And if there’s a particular story of impact from the week, would you share that with Rev. Shelby Slowey?

Ministry Spotlight: Healing Housing

“Our mission is to restore purposeful living to women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.” Healing Housing is practicing the art of neighboring by bringing women from diverse backgrounds together under one roof and walking alongside them as they experience loving Christian community. In the words of BUMC member Karole Mangione, “God has reminded me that we need each other.” Learn more about Healing Housing, Inc., and how you can get involved with their neighboring efforts.