We will help people in our communities and beyond
“Who is my neighbour?” was the question a lawyer posed to Jesus.
In response, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan – a moving story of a man who acted with compassion towards another who had been attacked and robbed (Luke 10:25-37).
The surprise in the story is that the neighbour is neither the person next door nor someone in the village. The shock in the story is that the person showing kindness is Samaritan, a member of a group despised by many Jews.
In using a parable, Jesus shifts the notion of neighbour away from locality to the arena of need, and compassionate action. Anyone you come across might be a neighbour to you. You are being a good neighbour when you help a person in need.
Being a good neighbour can be the simple action of
- lending a garden tool to the woman next door
- buying the Big Issue from your local vendor
- befriending a housebound person in your street
- talking to someone on a train
- volunteering at the local hospice
- lending an ear to a work colleague facing a difficult situation.
In all of these things the service is mutual: both sides give and receive.
Churches have a good record of serving their communities. Church buildings are often meeting places for many community groups. In addition, the church may support coffee mornings, toddler groups, luncheon clubs, uniformed organisations and many other activities.