Dear friends in Christ,
The hate-fueled violence at Tree of Life synagogue last Saturday was, of course, horrifying. Eleven people died and others were wounded at the hands of a man driven by hatred and fear.
What are we Christians to do? Of course, we should pray. Our life begins, continues, and ends in prayer. But here we are called to do more. We must be good neighbors.
I have a friend who was rector of a parish with a decades-long friendship with a nearby synagogue. They had an annual pulpit exchange. They stayed in touch with one another. They shared some activities together. And once or twice each year, they prayed together. If either community had ever experienced a crisis, they had a long relationship on which to build a response and to provide support. I admire places with these enduring friendships.
Sure, we can show up at rallies and prayer vigils. We should absolutely do that. But being a good neighbor is more than that. Is your church a good neighbor to others in your community? Too many of our congregations are inward-looking. Our world—and our Gospel—demand that we change our posture.
Get to know those who live near your church. Get to know Muslims, Jews, and people of other faiths. Ask community leaders what your community’s needs are. Consider learning about and practicing asset-based community development.
Our world needs good neighbors. And we all need each other. Let’s all agree to respond to the crises we see, but let us also resolve to begin today on our journey of being better neighbors.
Today’s Flash Sale: Morning Resolve
This unique devotional book for personal or small group discipleship and spiritual formation utilizes this daily prayer to guide readers as they examine and meditate on a portion of the prayer each week and examine and employ spiritual disciplines. Ultimately, the intentional crafting of a simple, sincere, and serene life is a spiritual discipline, too. Morning Resolve will guide readers into the spiritual practices that bear good fruit for a grace-filled life. Published by Cascade Books.
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