On days like this, it’s hard to stay indoors. The skies are clear and the temps are warm (but not too warm yet!). The yard was beckoning as I ate breakfast, and I’m almost sure I heard a siren's song calling me from the corner by the door where my sneakers and garden gloves reside. I want to be out walking, or digging in the dirt, or... well, something other than sitting at the computer, anyway.
But here I am. And one good thing about it is that I can look out my office window and I see that I’m not the only one itching to be outdoors. Every day there are parents who bring young children to swing or slide or climb on our playground equipment. Older children come on their own to play catch in the grass, or ride their bikes and skateboards up and down and around the parking lot. As I go in or out the office door, I’ll notice the occasional neighbor (adult or child) walking the labyrinth.
Those of us who drive to church from elsewhere in the Tri-Cities sometimes forget how much a part of this community we really are. Some churches with buildings in more commercial locations only have neighbors during business hours; but life on this residential street stirs around us and touches us 24/7.
Jesus talks a lot about neighbors, and about the importance of loving them-- something so important that it becomes part of his Great Commandment. “Who is my neighbor?” someone asked him. Although Jesus makes it clear that we are all neighbors to one another, sometimes the answer is even more obvious.
One of the ways we show love and care for our neighbors around the church is by maintaining our grounds and encouraging their use. Are there other ways we can be the kind of loving neighbors Jesus commands us to be?
Perhaps we need to spend some time outside to find out.