Our family moved into our first house in July! Before we moved in, we were working on some minor upgrades. While we were working on the renovations, one of our new neighbors brought over lunch! It was so incredibly thoughtful. Since then we’ve had them over for Eliza’s birthday party and have sat and chatted with them in their home. Before Hurricane Irma hit, they generously gave us plywood so we could board up our windows! Here’s the kicker: NONE of our other neighbors have ever stopped by or even introduced themselves since we’ve been here. It’s the end of September, over 2 months later.
It really just amazes me that we live in a day and age where people don’t go out of their way to welcome new neighbors into the community. I’m not saying we’ve been perfect at this. In the last place we lived, neighbors moved in next door and THEY came to US. They made an effort to love on us and make it known that they were there for us no matter what. And we believed them. According to Jesus, the two most important commandments are to love God, and love people as yourself (Mark 12:28-31). If we just did those two things, could you imagine what the world would be like? If we just loved God with everything we had and loved people…? The Bible says that every law in the Bible is hinged on these two (Matthew 22:40).
One of our family’s favorite speakers always challenges his audience not to be “basket-headed” Christians. He gets this from the gospels, where Jesus likens His disciples to a lamp:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16, ESV)
So I have to ask. Are we hiding our light under a basket from our neighbors? Do those who live around us know who we are and where we stand with Christ? Do they feel the love of Jesus through us? Our family prays to be a light in our neighborhood. That won’t come by locking ourselves in our house and never interacting with our neighbors other than just the casual wave when we see them drive by.
A new neighbor moved in across the street, so we stayed up late to make these delicious pumpkin cookies! They’re Brian’s favorite!
Your simple challenge: meet your neighbors.
The challenge is simple, but it won’t be easy. We all have busy schedules. We all have things to get done and dinner to make each night. You don’t even have to make them cookies from scratch. Just step out your front door, knock on theirs and meet them. We aren’t meant to live with baskets over our heads.
Click here for the cookie recipe, but be warned… they aren’t the healthiest!