25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”Luke 10:25-37 NLT
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.
35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
As we see from this passage intentionally living in community, for community, and affecting it, is part of Jesus’ ways. We are sent to live, support, care, and intentionally develop relationships, within our neighborhoods. Intentionally focused on the spiritual and on the practical needs of our neighbors provides the opportunities to connect people to God in worship and service. Always measuring how we are affecting the people around us, listening, correcting, and revising along the way. Above all depending on the Spirit to guide us and confirmed by listening to those around us.
What does affecting our communities look like?
Creating places and spaces for community, such as:
- Community vegetable gardens
- Connecting with parents on the playground
- Hosting things like “friendsgiving” (thanksgiving with friends) and other dinner parties
- Providing a space for the community to use (for birthday parties, meetings, events, etc)
- Volunteering to help with people’s needs, projects like graffiti removal, and more (Serve the City).
For your journey…
- Pray for one way you can affect your community, something that already fits into your schedule, and capacity for this season. For example, go to the same place at the same time each week, try to connect with the same people.
- Is there already an existing activity you do that maybe the LORD could use to open a door for ministry to people, helping them, hearing their story, knowing them and loving them deeper?
- Maybe there is something you need help with, or something about your own story that if shared could connect someone deeper. Sometimes in our own need and our own experiences God moves throug us.