SEPTEMBER: NEIGHBORS (Reimagine Salem Monthly Highlight)
Love thy neighbor - Yes, even that neighbor!
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Matthew 22:34-39, ESV
“Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.” But what does it really mean to love your neighbor as yourself? This does not just mean for those who are like you. It is a call to love EVERYONE. God loves you. God is proud of you. God also loves everyone who is like you and completely different than you. God wants you to love them, too.
Why does God call us to love our Neighbor? God calls us to love our neighbor because He loves us and desires that we have a meaningful, fulfilling relationship with Him. When we love our neighbor, we are showing dedication to God’s command and expanding our ability to have a loving relationship with others.
If we ask, “Who is my neighbor?” we may not like the answer. The neighbor we’re called to love is often not one we choose but one God chooses for us. Instead of having the "perfect" neighbor, Jesus may point us to the needy, a different view of a person in front of us — the one we feel like passing by — and say, “There is your neighbor.” Instead of looking at your neighbors as a hardship, look at them as an opportunity to learn, listen, and love.
PRAY for God to help you to love your neighbor as yourself.
PRAY for God to help you to be a good neighbor.
PRAY for our church to be able to see all of our neighbors.
SEE all the neighbors around you and get to know them.
SEE all the neighbors of Salem and learn about them.
SEE how others are being good neighbors.
DREAM about how your gifts can help you to be a good neighbor.
DREAM about how our church can connect with our neighbors in meaningful ways.
DREAM about how Salem can most fully exist as a church in the neighborhood. (Our doors open onto the sidewalk - what does that mean for us??)