Mark 12v28-31: “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And 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.“
Jesus’ words here boil down what Christian spirituality is all about. And what spiritual maturity looks like: To love God, and love our neighbour. Everything else hangs from those truths.
We’re living in unprecedented times. And for all of us, the last few weeks have meant changes, and adjustments.
Some of us have wrestled with fear, anxiety, uncertainty and the fact that we are no longer in control (or are no longer under the illusion that we are in control) of our lives. And my hope is that each of us have brought those feelings, worries and questions to God in prayer and are inviting Him into these places in our hearts, lives and families.
But, we do also need to lift our heads from our own situations to see the people, City and World around us that is also hurting, confused, and in need at this time.
This is a time for the Church to be the Church and to rise up and share the Hope and Help that we have found in Jesus, with our neighbours and City.
So, how do we love our neighbour in lockdown?
Until lockdown is over, most of us we will have to serve by doing things we can from home. But, some of these ways of serving are significant and powerful, and could do a lot of good in this time to love our neighbours well.
– Who can you pray for, and what prayers can you be praying for them?
– What big picture prayers can we be praying for our City, Country, World, President, Medical Professionals, the Sick etc. We have put together a Prayer Points resource to help you pray at this time.
We believe that prayer is powerful and effective and changes things, so let us pray at this time (James 5v16-18).
– For some, this is a time to call or text, to point people to Jesus and to speak words of encouragement and hope.
– Sending a text or voice call, checking in, asking how people are and listening to them, praying with someone, and reminding them of our Good Shepherd (Psalm 23) are all ways that we can love our neighbours and lift their heads at this time.
We are currently in a time where many people are under financial pressure, and need financial support and help. Is there anyone you can help with a meal or groceries, by helping with their rent, by buying something they need or covering one of their bills?
Acts 4v34-35: “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.“
If you don’t personally know anyone in need that you can help, and you want to give financially to love our neighbours well, you can EFT money into the Harbour City Church Bank Account using the reference COVID19 SUPPORT, and we will see that the money goes to supporting people in need in the Church and City.
Harbour City Account Details:
Bank: First National Bank
Acc Name: Harbour City Church
Account Number: 62689125849
Branch Code: 221126
Reference: COVID19 SUPPORT
Lastly, while most of us are indoors, and unable to get out to serve our neighbours all around Durban practically, there are a number of amazing organisations in our City who are essential workers, and are working non-stop to serve the people of Durban in different ways.
Here are three organisations who we can give to, to serve our City at this time. They are all doing amazing things:
After the lockdown, there will be new challenges we face, and new ways that we can serve others and the need for innovation and creative ministry. Can we all through this time be making time in God’s presence to hear His voice, listen to what He is saying, and follow His lead.