“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Spring has arrived in the South! My favorite season full of flower blooms, budding trees, grass becoming green again, birds chirping, Sunday afternoon walks, and “front porch sitting” is here! I love porches- front ones, side ones, or back porches! When spring arrives, it’s time to spruce up the porches, and start enjoying all the beauty of the spring season from a porch chair or swing! Also, when I think of “front porch sitting” family and neighbors immediately come to mind. My front porch is one of my favorite places to have some quality quiet time with God- a great place for me to slow down, and just spend time in the Word or in prayer. My porch is also a great place to spend time with family and neighbors. “Front porch sitting” is one avenue to love on family and neighbors. Jesus tells us to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. How do we love our neighbors? Who is our neighbors? Of course there are our physical neighbors, but actually we have neighbors all over the world. We have neighbors we have never met on our roads and streets, and all around the world. Loving our physical neighbors can be as simple as inviting them to some “Front porch sitting” for some sweet tea or coffee, or dropping a meal by, running an errand for them, or just providing a listening ear. Loving our far-away, never-met neighbors can be harder. Just knowing how to love them can be a challenge because we don’t have first hand knowledge of their needs. Sometimes we need to rely on others or different ministries to give us knowledge and opportunities to love on our far-away neighbors. One great ministry that I have to come love over the past six years is Compassion International. Compassion focuses on releasing children from poverty in Jesus Name. I have seen their work first-hand on more than one occasion. They do a fabulous job of helping children in poverty while sharing the love of Jesus with them. I want to mention two ways you can become involved with Compassion right now. First, is through sponsorship of children. For $38 a month you can sponsor a child helping Compassion to share the love of Jesus with your sponsored child along with helping the child with basic needs, such as food, hygiene, and education. Second, during the month of April, Compassion has a fundraiser going to help provide mosquito nets to children in Tanzania. For a one-time $18 donation, these insecticide-treated bed nets will help a child living in proverty be protected against Malaria transmitted by mosquitos, and provide medical support where needed. Compassion shares that 3000 children die daily as a result of Malaria. However with the proper tools such as these insecticide-treated nets, healthcare, and education, Malaria is preventable and treatable. Please consider one of these options to love on some Tanzania neighbors! Here’s the link for the mosquito/Malaria prevention nets. Also, take some time this spring to enjoy some “Front porch sitting” with your family and close-by neighbors!
While you’re beginning spring, I’m experiencing autumn and looking ahead to winter. Enjoy that beautiful time of the year and enjoy time on your porch with friends and family.
Who is my neighbour? That was the question the lawyer asked Jesus, looking to justify himself. Jesus turned it around in his Good Samaritan parable and showed him that neighbours aren’t always people ‘just like us’ but those in need, no matter who they are.