Take a Look at Your Neighborhood
Thoughts from Rev. Mark Schudde,
Concordia, Conover NC
Have you ever noticed your neighbor's house? Maybe it's the one that is always neatly decorated for Christmas. Perhaps it's the one with the yard that hasn't been raked free of leaves. Could it be the one where there is a basketball hoop on the driveway, or the one where the newspapers pile up, indicating that they aren't home or can't make the walk down the driveway?
The Christmas season, (and truthfully, every moment afterward) is a time to take notice of your neighbors. The Shepherds did just that on the first Christmas. How many doors did they bang on, or how many stables did they peer into before finding baby Jesus? While we don't know the answer, we do know that when they left the stable, they made known to all what they had heard and seen concerning this child (Luke 2:17). Did they bang on a few doors with the Good News?
People seem more accepting of that occasional knock at the door during the month of December. Maybe it's carolers? Could it be a friend or neighbor bringing by the famous Fruit Cake? All of these moments provide the opportunity to practice what is called the Art of Neighboring. Can we find opportunities like this to visit a neighbor in other seasons?
It's not about becoming more "neighborly" to one another, but rather that each one might become more aware of the neighbors that God has placed around you. See what Acts 17 says about your neighbors, and why God has you living where you do. He (God) determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that people would seek him. (Acts 17:26-27)
God has placed you in your neighborhood. He determined the specific location on your street. He chose those who would be your neighbors. So take notice of your neighbors!
Make an opportunity to drop off a little treat or note. Practice a random act of neighboring. Go out of your way to say hello and remember them, always, in prayer.
At iNeighborhood.org, you will find resources to encourage you learn the "art of neighboring." Check them out and share your stories!