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Loving Your Neighbor from a Distance 社交距離中愛你的鄰舍

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. ~James 2:8 (NIV)~

This command is such a simple one, yet most Americans don’t even know their neighbors.  Most homes in the North Texas area have garages in the back.  We literally come home and drive into the garage without ever greeting our neighbors. 

But during this pandemic, more people are walking about in their neighborhood with their family and dogs. People are riding their bikes and exercising outside more.  This is a unique time that God has given us to get to know the people in our neighborhood.  Why not just sit on your front porch or yard, wave, and even greet the people walking by?  You never know when a friendly wave might eventually lead to spiritual conversations.

The key is being able to connect.  Go to the dog park and connect with people.  Move your grill to the front lawn and put on a juicy steak and people will come and make small talk.  Go walking in your neighborhood without your earbuds, it’s easier to make conversation.  When people see you with an earbud, they assume you are listening to music and don’t want to bother you.  Go plant a flower garden, it will bring people around to complement how beautiful your garden is, giving you opportunities to connect.  The point is not to have a pretty garden, but to make the choice to be friendly and get to know your neighbors.

Don’t let the current circumstances be your excuse not to follow God’s command to love your neighbor.  Open up to them, be creative, share life with them so one day they can share eternity with you.

經上記著說:「要愛人如己。」你們若全守這至尊的律法才是好的。~雅各書二8~

愛鄰舍如同自己這條命令看似簡單,但很多美國人根本不認識周圍鄰居。因為北德州大部分的車庫都在房屋後方,開車出入車庫根本不會遇見鄰居。

  但在這疫情流行期間,越來越多的人與家人帶著狗一同在附近散步、騎著自行車在戶外運動。這是神賜給我們的特別時光來認識附近鄰居。何不坐在前廊或院子裡,向路人揮手打招呼。你料想不到一個友善的招呼竟可能打開屬靈的對話。

  關鍵是要與人建立關係。到狗公園與人交流;將烤肉架移至前院,放上多汁的牛排,然後人們會來閒聊。散步時不要戴耳機更容易展開對話,因為當別人看到你帶著耳機,會認為你正在聽音樂,並且不想打擾你。種花會吸引他人來讚美你花園之美,提供建立關係的機會。重點不是花園漂亮與否,而是能藉此表達友善並結識鄰居。

  不要以目前的情況為藉口,無法遵從上帝愛鄰舍的命令。向人敞開,發揮創意,與人分享生活,有一天他們也能同你在永恆中有份。

~Rev. Jireh Lin 林以勒牧師~

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