Who Is My Neighbor? (Lightened By The Light - Week 4)

This past Sunday, Randy preached a sermon using Micah 6:1-8 as his text.  He asked, “What does God want from us?”  That question was this generation’s version of the question being asked by the people of Israel in the Micah passage.  What does God ‘require’ of us?  That answer is very simple:  “....to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

As a homework assignment, we were asked to practice mercy as we sought opportunities to care for and about others.  Randy suggested that we give you some ideas in this article….not just for this week, but for every week.  Of course in addition to the ideas listed below, you might read through former articles in this series to get ideas.  For some of this, mercy comes very easily and we see opportunities everywhere we look.  For others of us, we have to be very intentional about seeking out these opportunities and even more intentional about following through with actually fulfilling those acts.  Either way, God calls us to love mercy…..not because we ‘have to’, but because we are people of God with the heart of God.

So…here we go.  Feel free to add to this list and if you’ve experienced mercy from others in ways not listed here, please pass those stories along to me and/or others.

Let’s do the obvious ones first:

  • Visit someone in prison or jail.  Even if you don’t know anyone in this situation, call first and ask if there is someone who doesn’t get visitors.  We have Bibles at church if you’d like to take one to leave, or just spend time with the person without preaching ‘at’ them.
  • Visit a nursing home.  Randy mentioned this at one of the services Sunday.  Ask at the desk who might not have visitors or who is really down that particular day.  Whether they are communicative or not, you will be a blessing to them.
  • Call or stop by Home Sweet Home or Safe Harbor to see how you might be of help.  Try to offer an opportunity to sit down with a resident to just be a friend to them rather than a person who will judge them or look down on them.
  • Offer to care for a friend’s children for a few hours so your friend can get out of the house, go on a date, or just do nothing for a change.
  • Prepare a meal and take it to someone who has just gotten home from the hospital, or has had a baby or has lost a loved one or has just moved or…just anyone!
  • Bake some cookies and take them to a neighbor, the fire station, the police officer with the radar gun, etc.
  • Let someone go in front of you at the store (especially if they have a crying or fussy child).
  • Help someone carry their groceries to their car (only if you don’t look like you’re going to steal them!).
  • Help a neighbor (who knows you) carry their groceries into the house.
  • Sit in the middle of the row at church so that someone else can sit on the end.
  • Smile at the parents of a screaming child to let them know it’s OK.
  • Pay for someone’s meal or for the person behind you at a toll booth or fast food, etc.

There are so many more ideas…hopefully this gave you enough to whet your appetite.  If we would follow the words of the prophet Micah to act justly, love mercy and to walk kindly with our God, how might our world be blessed?

About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC