With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matt. 5:7) You are the great Giver of mercy. Move me to show your mercy. Amen.
Word: Matthew 5:46-48
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
When I think about my neighborhood, I think about the family next door that my kids play with. And the retired couple across the street that brought us cake when we moved in. And the younger families down the street that we often stop and talk with while we are on walks.
But I also think about the house directly across the street that I don’t know anything about. And the tenets in the other house next door that I have met but don’t know their names. And all the families just as close to our house but in the opposite direction from where we usually walk.
I could make the argument that we’re doing pretty good at meeting our neighbors for only having lived in our house for a few months. But then I realize that most of the people we know are the ones who welcomed us into the neighborhood or the neighbors they associate with. What more am I doing than others?
Think of someone outside your normal family, social, religious, or political groups. Consider one way you can make the first move towards this outsider? And then commit to doing it sometime this week.
Prayer for Neighbors
· For my immediate geographical neighbors.
· For my community, neighborhood, town/city.
· For neighbors hurting from broken families, addiction, violence, abuse, poverty, sickness.
· For the eyes of the Good Samaritan, to see and help my neighbor in need.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes, that I may see the needs of those around me. Open my ears, that I may be quick to listen and slow to speak. Open my hands, that I may be quick to serve them in your name. Give me courage to make the first move. In Jesus’ name, amen.