When asked which commandment was the greatest of them all, Jesus said, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Since that lawyer first asked Jesus this question, followers of Jesus have - in many beautiful ways - considered this call to love our neighbors in a conceptual way. “Neighbors” could be anyone! The wealthy man down the street to the underserved on the other side of the world -- all are worthy and demand our love and compassion as directed by Jesus.
As beautiful as this image of neighbors is, what would it look like if we as a church got serious about ‘neighboring’ those people, businesses, communities, homes, and organizations that are literally outside our doors? How might our church be better neighbors to downtown Winston right around us? How can we equip and encourage each other to neighbor the men, women, and children in our actual neighborhoods? How might we be transformed by all these relationships with our neighbors by the God in Christ who calls us to love?
We’re calling 2017 in our beloved community “The Year of Living Neighborly.” We’ll spend intentional time and energy in a myriad of ways this year unpacking this idea and incarnating it among us! Our hope is that these ideas will then begin to trickle into our Wednesday night teachings, our Deacons, committees, and ministry team initiatives, our building, our outreach, our way of living life together, our homes and families and calendars, and even our very being as followers of Christ.
And we’re just getting started!
Stay tuned to see how God will beckon us forward into this year of living neighborly in 2017!