Dear St. Lukers,
I was driving down the street in my neighborhood recently and was thinking about how I am coming up on the three-year anniversary of the purchase of my first home on my own. I have gotten to know the neighbors on both sides of me. Chris, whose extended family is from Czechoslovakia and survived the holocaust, always asks about Vacation Bible School because she used to volunteer at her church. Shirley, who is retired military likes to volunteer at the Bay Hill Invitational when she can. She knows St. Luke’s because she parks her car in our field when she volunteers. My daughter knows that if there was an emergency she could go to either one of them and they would help her. I have good immediate neighbors. However, I don’t know as much about the rest of the people who live down the street. That is probably the way with most of us.
I was introducing our new sermon series, God’s Neighborhood, to the children on our first night of Wednesday St. Luke’s U programming. We started to discuss what God’s Neighborhood would look like. It was amazing what they all said.
“Diverse people living all together.”
“Equality for race and for gender.”
“Everyone showing kindness to each other.”
“No gender assumptions.”
“People playing outside in the front yard so other people walking by could join in the fun.”
That sounds like a neighborhood I want to live in!
As we look toward Sunday, Pastor Corey and Pastor Melissa will be speaking about our new job in God’s neighborhood. We all have a job to help build community as the hands and feet of Christ. That means getting to know the neighbors around us, helping an elderly neighbor who might be struggling, inviting someone over for coffee who might be alone, and even praying with a neighbor who is having a hard time. We may not agree on all subjects with our neighbors but showing kindness to everyone has no limits. In God’s Neighborhood we are all the same family!
Who can you introduce yourself to in your neighborhood today? It isn’t a hard job to say hi and offer a smile or invite someone to play in the front yard!
Grace and Peace,
Director of Children’s Ministry