As Christians we are commanded to ‘Love our Neighbour’ but how can you do this while isolated at home?
It may surprise you to hear that I believe we are loving our neighbour more than ever in these times. Let me give you three examples:
- Our team at Stewardship have worked at home since 18 March last year and will do so for over a year. I have been into the office only once since we left. When I was there I saw Karis, one of our wonderful Giving Services team, talking to her customers. What they could not see was how in the background she was joyfully using technology to collaborate with her colleagues to serve them well. I shared this story at our Wednesday morning weekly devotions where all of our staff make a point to come together on Zoom to share fellowship. The truth is that whilst this crisis has physically isolated us in our homes; our team working and Christian fellowship has actually moved forward.
- Before Christmas we received the evaluation of our Rapid Response Fund where we helped a group of generous Christians create a fund and distribute nearly £5million to 100 causes in the first 100 days of the crisis. The evaluation revealed a vibrant Church truly reaching out to help communities across our nation with over 2.5 million meals provided, over one million acts of Christian fellowship and many other wonderful displays of practical love. What stood out most was the flow of God’s love and the relationships that formed. Those that benefited did not just get a meal, they got fellowship and support, those that served the meal were encouraged and the generous Christians who made this possible received prayers and blessings for their offerings. The Early Church grew from the unique way it offered healing to the sick and help to the poor and our Church has stepped forward again to enhance community at a time when many were isolated in their homes.
- As we look towards this New Year we are working with church and national leaders to see what more can be done so that the Church can be an even better neighbour in its community. That neighbour you come to for God’s love and practical help to… help get vaccinated, deal with financial difficulties, boost your mental wellbeing or share your love with others in greater need. These are hard times for many: the vaccine brings hope but the economic and mental health challenges ahead should not be underestimated. Yet we see a Church stepping forward to love its neighbour and help communities through this period – with practical help, but most importantly with access to God’s love.
Blessings to you all and may 2021 be a year where love abounds.