Love our neighbour(s)?

The photo above is part of the street where we live. It is a peaceful street generally – though there was one occasion a few months ago where near this spot, a plain clothes policeman grabbed a guy who ran past me and bundled him into a police car!  But generally it is a peaceful street, in many ways an ordinary street, certainly not a famous one or a road that appears in the media.

What do you think about where you live? Both literally the street where you are, but also the immediate neighbourhood and the town/city?

Is it somewhere you see that you are just “passing through”? Is it just somewhere incidental to what you do in life?

ICL’s key Bible phrase is a “planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour” (Isaiah 61:3)

Can I encourage us all to pray about having a sense (if we don’t have it already) of being ‘planted’ where we are living?  Even if you are only in the Leiden area for a few months.

Also let’s take time to consider how can we actively reach out with the love of Christ to those in our neighbourhoods (not just in our work/study places or families). Not that I mean this to be an ‘extra’ to add to an already impossible list of things to do! Rather I encourage us to consider how can we build connecting in our neighbourhoods, into the rhythm of what we do already?

For instance,

  • Pray for our neighbours
  • Take a walk in the neighbourhood and pray.  Be open to chatting with others (and if you are the only international, don’t worry – many Dutch people speak English at least). I get it if you are an introvert that it may feel more of a challenge – I am an introvert too and do not always find it easy.
  • Invite some neighbours round for a meal (you have got to eat regularly anyway)  Let’s not worry about being top chefs! If it is a real worry, invite them round for a drink and cake instead.
  • Pray about other ways to be a ‘blessing’ in your neighbourhood.

Now that the weather is hopefully generally better, it is particularly a time where perhaps we are more likely to connect with others. Let’s be actively open to being a ‘planting’ that makes a difference and displays the Lord’s splendour where we live, work and study.

Andy