October 28, 2021
Loving Our Neighbors – Part 2
Matthew 22:39: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Upon arriving to officiate a funeral service, the director said, “You have another funeral tomorrow.” He showed me it was for 1 p.m. the next day for a man I did not know. I noticed the decease’s address was near our home.
After this service, I drove to that address, three houses east of ours. Then, I remembered the man.
While running one day, I stopped to talk with him in the yard, and he invited me into his house. Showing me photos of his grown family and bragging about their success, he obviously loved his children.
After meeting his wife the day before the funeral, she asked me to preside because he bragged about me, and they didn’t have a church. So, I got the information and prepared for the next day’s service.
At the service, his wife and three sons were the only ones present. None of his forty descendants or neighbors were present.
During the eulogy, I told of the man’s bragging about each family member and his expressions of love for them. They seemed confused, as if hearing this for the first time.
So, I paused during the eulogy and said that people often love but do not know how to show it. I felt sad for them, realizing that these boys never knew their father’s love.
Even though several homes surrounded his home, none of us knew him.
Like I said yesterday, I make it a point to interact with my neighbors and get to know them. We share meals, garden produce, mowers, ladders, sewing knowledge, watching each other’s children, Christmas gifts, and healthy conversation. One result: hospitality is now year-round.
In addition to sharing candy, may Halloween become a reminder to know and love our neighbors.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Have you made a plan to get to know your geographical neighbors better?
- Suggestion One: Invite a neighbor for a meal.
- Suggestion Two: Provide a gift (plant, candy, food, etc.) to a new neighbor moving into your community.
- Suggestion Three: Whatever you feel God nudging you to do.
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Same as “Questions for the Field.”
Dear most loving, gracious Lord, we praise and thank you for our homes. It’s very probable that you placed us in our neighborhoods because we need each other. Please help us make our homes and our neighborhoods sanctuaries of blessings and places of peace. In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.