After hearing Sunday’s message, I have this picture in my mind: it’s me, a loaf of banana bread in hand, knocking on the door of each apartment in the apartment building where I live. When the door opens I introduce myself and strike up a conversation. And then we become friends and I invite them to the next Alpha Course. I say this is a picture in my mind because it’s never happened. Oh sure, I’ve made the banana bread, but I’ve never given it out to my neighbors. I did make cookies one time and took them to the three young adults living in the apartment below me, but they moved about a month after that. I hope it wasn’t the cookies!
What is it about me that I don’t ‘take my work’ home, so to speak? After all, my full time job at PLC –which I love– is to make disciples. Why doesn’t that same passion to see others come to follow Jesus carry over to those who live right next door to me? Could it be I’m just too lazy? Too self-centered? Ouch, ouch!!
I could tell you that I’m going to try harder to meet my neighbors. But how? Where do I start after all this time? Maybe I could start by hiding the bananas from my husband so they have a chance to get ripe. But he loves bananas! And once the bread is made…well, it’s hard to resist trying a slice, you know? And then another, and another. And you can’t just give a half of a loaf, can you?
Maybe I’ll help Steve walk our dog. He knows lots of our neighbors. But then again, maybe not in this heat wave we’re having, you know?
It’s easy to find excuses, isn’t it? But what I really need, I guess, is courage. And a love motivated by my love for Christ. The early church grew when others couldn’t help noticing how the Christians loved God and loved one another. It made them jealous; they wanted in on the action. And they especially couldn’t deny how the Christians went above and beyond to help others – the sick, the poor, and the widowed. They were out there, many times during the worst plagues – risking getting sick themselves and sometimes even dying to help others.
Love in action…it’s our calling! But I need some help here! Send me some of your ideas, please! (And an ounce or two of your courage!)