We are six weeks into our series on the Book of Nehemiah. We are discovering how one insignificant man can make a tremendous difference in his community. One thing can said about the series is that you’ll definitely know where to find the Book of Nehemiah when the series wraps…psst, it’s between Ezra and Esther.
As we have followed narrative, we have learned that in order for Nehemiah to make a difference in his community, he actually had to go into the community to observe, pray for, and listen to the stories of the people.
We are called to love our neighbors. But how can we love our neighbors if we don’t even know their names.
A challenge was issued for each member of UBC. Take a map card of Baton Rouge and circle a place where you can to commit to doing four things: pray for, venture into, learn the stories of others, and share your story. Over the last few weeks, your circles have populated the maps hanging in the sanctuary.
The art of loving our neighbors is not a quick process, but rather a long, fulfilling, and tough endeavor. Therefore, we want to find ways to encourage you as you go about this process. We are earnestly praying for you (us) as we step forward in fulfilling Jesus’ invitation to be the radical presence of compassion and hope in our community.
We also want to hear from you. How has this experience gone for you? What have you discovered in your prayers and observations? What new neighbors have you met? What stories have you heard? Reach out to me and share your stories (firstname.lastname@example.org). Share with your spiritual formation groups on Sundays.
Let’s not just get to know our neighbor by name but listen to their stories and share our stories. Let’s move beyond the superficialities and into sharing life with others.
Let’s allow God to use us to transform this community and our neighbors through living lives of grace, hope, joy, peace, and compassion.