It’s been quite a while since I posted to my blog. Life has been very busy lately and there have been things, both good and not so good, that have hindered my blogging. I hope to get back to blogging at least twice a week, beginning today.
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus said, ” ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Just as important as loving God is loving our neighbor. And who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is the person who lives next door to us, the person who lives in the same city, the same state, the same country that we live in. But it doesn’t stop there. Our neighbor is the person who lives anywhere on this planet that we call home. Our neighbor is the person who lives around the world and the person who lives across the street. So, when Jesus said we must love our neighbor as ourselves, he meant every person in His creation.
Those of us who follow Christ are called to be His hands, His feet, and His heart to the world, especially to those who do not know Him. A follower of Christ should reflect the love of Christ to the world around him or her. We are called to tell the world about the love that Jesus showed for all of us when He gave His life on a Roman cross over 2,000 years ago. We are called to be His witnesses and to make disciples of those who live near us and those who do not (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19). We are called to love them as He loved us. And the best way to do that is by serving others, by providing for their needs. In Mark 10:45, Jesus told us that He “came not to be served but to serve.” If we are truly His followers, if we truly want to be like Him, this is true for us as well.
On Sunday, October 13th, in a biannual event that we call Service for Service, the congregation of Evangel Church in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, the church that I call home, gave up its Sunday services to go out into the community to serve others. We packed meals for starving children around the world. We stocked a food pantry. We helped to build homes, clean parks, and do cleanup and maintenance for people in our neighboring communities. We visited nursing homes, the local veterans hospital, and members of our church family who are shut-ins. Over 1,000 strong, we brought the love of Jesus not just into our own community and the communities surrounding us, but also around the world. We were the hands, the feet, and the heart of Jesus. Think about what kind of change the church could bring to the world if every church and every follower of Christ did this each and every day!
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.