In My Neighborhood

When I was a kid, I lived out in the country in Iowa. We often had people from our church over to our house for supper, games, etc., but I don't remember us ever having our neighbors over for supper.

It seems like that is a pretty common thing in modern America. It's not often that neighbors have each other come into their homes to hang out. So, when we consider ways that Christians can be different from the world, hospitality is a great way to be counter-cultural!

What makes us fear this idea? We are afraid that people might reject us or we are afraid that people might be uncomfortable with the way our household works. These are real fears, but my experience is that they rarely come true. Through the years, when we have had our neighbors come over to our house, they are thankful that we have invited them. Yes, some of the things about our household are a little different for them (like when we pray before a meal), but they have appreciated it. 

Here is an interesting fun fact: Writings from the first five centuries of the church emphasized that one of the chief distinctions of Christians from the world should be hospitality. Of course that is true! Our heavenly Father has lavished hospitality on us through Jesus. He has asked us to be part of His household of faith, so it only makes sense that we would extend that same graciousness to others. 

Another way we could be counter-cultural is by taking the time to serve our neighbors. Maybe you have a neighbor who could really use help mowing their lawn. Maybe you could bake them a plate of cookies. Maybe you could offer to babysit their kids. The possibilities are endless!

So, let's try it! Let's be different from the world by asking our neighbors into our homes and by serving them. We love because Jesus first loved us.