Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

01/11/2016 9:51 PM

Right Outside Our Door

01/11/2016 9:51 PM
01/11/2016 9:51 PM

Then [the king] said to his servants, “Go to the street corners
and invite to the banquet anyone you find.” (Matthew 22:8-9)

Last week I stood in my driveway looking at the houses on my street, and I was ashamed to admit that I could not say the names of the people in most of them. This was not the case when I was growing up. I knew every house and every family. I felt just as comfortable in my neighbor’s homes as I did in my own. I also knew which houses held those who were friendly and which houses held those who, well, were not so friendly, but I knew them. Standing in my driveway the other day, I realized that I no longer knew my neighbors, and I haven’t done much to change that. Doesn’t being a Christian mean building relationships, and shouldn’t that start right where we live?

I have a long list of excuses, starting with the fact that I am busy, and I am. Between work and the kids and night meetings and our own parents, my wife and I have no time. No one else has time either. People are rarely home. These are good excuses. But that doesn’t change the reality that we need to know each other. We are missing a crucial piece in the fabric of society, and we are paying the price. Isolation, fear, and misunderstanding are all consequences of our not knowing each other.

We need to change, and we need to change now. We need to become what a Christian looks like in the neighborhood, the ones who begin relationships. We need to know our neighbors. I am starting to believe it to be the great calling of our day. We are called to become like the king who keeps inviting everyone he can find to the banquet. 
Look at the houses around you. Do you know who lives there? If not, I challenge you to introduce yourself. Ending our fear and uncertainty of one another can start by simply saying hello to those right outside our door.

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