“DURING THE SEASON OF LENT…”
… Join Your Pastors for a “Wesley Fast” &
Pray for the Welfare of Our City.
Pray for the Welfare of Our City
This week we fast and pray for our neighbor, the neighborhood we live in, and the
neighborhood surrounding our church. Jesus was clear, we can’t love God unless we love our neighbor.
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’”
— Mark 12:28-31 (NRSV)
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” — Matthew 22:40
This week we pray for our neighbor, the neighborhood we live in and the neighborhood surrounding our church. Jesus was clear, we can’t love God unless we love our neighbor.
So, before we pray, I ask—Do you know your neighbor? Do you know your neighbors well enough that you can love them? We can’t love someone we don’t know. Loving someone you have never met leads to sentimentality, tender emotions without an understanding of the person on the other end of your prayers and good will. It leads to assumptions, and assumptions can lead to misfires and confusion. Until we really know someone, we don’t what to pray for or how to help.
Have you spoken to your neighbors? Do you know their names, along with their hopes and dreams? Have you been in your neighbor’s home? Have you shared a meal or volunteered to watch their young child or aging parent while they went to the grocery store? Love requires proximity; we must be close up so that we can actually see and listen.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is 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.” The second is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” The second commandment instructs us on how to honor the first commandment. Loving God always has a human component.
This week as you fast, reflect on how you can love your neighbor—those who live a stone’s throw from your home, and those who live within sight of our beautiful stone church. Get to know your neighbors, so that you can love and pray for them.