As we are in the midst of summer months, I am sure many, if not all of us, can say that this summer looks A LOT different than any other year. Work may look different. Vacations may look different. Everyday tasks and errands may seem different. Church looks different. At church, we are all wondering when it will ever return, at least to some resemblance of normal (“normal” will probably never be entirely the same). When will small groups start back? What will the fall calendar look like? Will we be able to start meeting on Wednesdays? What about kids and student ministries? A lot of this is still somewhat up in the air.
Just as we begin to feel like there is a window of opportunity, cases start to rise again, and things are once again put on hold. We are praying and seeking wisdom as elders and would ask our faith family to do the same. But there is one activity we all need to put on our calendar. It’s not so much a church activity as much as a Christian responsibility: Love your neighbor.
As part of the greatest commandment, Jesus tells us that to love God and love others is what we are to be about every day. Yes, we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30, ESV). But we must never forget that “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (v. 31a).
Jesus says that to love God and love your neighbor is the activity that demonstrates who we are. In fact, he goes so far as to say that “there is no other commandment greater than these” (v.31b). The two commandments become one as we understand that we cannot love God fully without loving our neighbor. Some may ask who our neighbor is? Your neighbor is the person you encounter throughout your day. They are your coworkers. They are your friends. They are the stranger you stand behind in the line as the store. They are also the person you seek to avoid, the people that don’t always (or ever) brighten your day. They are the ones who hold a different point of view or a different worldview altogether. These are your neighbors—all of them. And we are called to love them as we love Jesus. How? We can talk about different practical ways in another article, but for now, I would simply say through humble service. Humble by considering them as more important than yourself and service through acts of giving and understanding.
We as a church are praying and hoping that we can soon return to some of our most loved activities, and we will let you know as soon as some of that is available. I would encourage you to keep up with what’s happening at SRBC on social media and check out our calendar and events on our new website. But one activity we can all make sure to be a part of today is loving Jesus and loving people. This is proclaiming Jesus to everyone, everywhere, every day.