Yesterday I asked you to complete a neighbourhood grid. How did it go?
This grid has been completed by people all over North America, and the creators report that about 10% of people can fill in every name on the grid. About 3% can write down one fact about each neighbour, and less than 1% can write something of depth about every neighbour.
Yes, Jesus says love your enemies, and we should work towards this. Unfortunately, we can’t start there very easily, since if we aim for everything, we usually hit nothing. Trying to be neighbours with everybody all at once often means we’re neighbours with nobody. We need to start somewhere.
In our culture, we often experience the opposite problem as Jesus’ original hearers. They lived in a tightknit community with strong traditions and bonds. Loving their similar neighbours came naturally, but loving enemies did not. Their definition needed broadening.
In contract, our culture can make this story too metaphorical and remote. We don’t regularly see wounded enemies laying on the road, and can tell ourselves, “if I do, I live in a country with universal health care so I can leave it to the profesionals.” For us, our definition of loving neighbour can start out too broad, and needs narrowing so we can learn to truly love, and not just write people off.
There are two ways we will start off easy. We’ll start with our actual neighbourhood or cubicle cluster. Secondly, if love sounds mushy or weird, we can just start with learning names, and then we can figure it out from there.
Challenge: For this week, work on learning all the names possible in your grid. If you don’t know them all, just go knock on their door and ask. You may find out they forgot your name, too!
Have you completed the neighbourhood grid yet? If not, click here
Share a Link to this Message
The link has been copied to your clipboard; paste it anywhere you would like to share it.