I hope you enjoyed my latest posts on preparing your home for the holidays. Stayed tuned, because there is more where that came from. I love this time of year, and I am excited that I get to share it with you! If you missed them, you can check them out here Holiday Preparation and Inspiration! and here Our Home – A Sanctuary.
Today, I am excited to share some wisdom from my friend, author Michelle S. Lazurek and tell you about her beautiful new book on hospitality. She is going to share Jesus’ command to love your neighbors. I am blessed with the best neighbors! When it comes to neighbors, we won the lottery, and they make it easy to love them. But in the crazy busy world we live in, how can we follow Jesus’ command to truly love our neighbors? Michelle gives us a couple of great ideas.
Three Ways to Fulfill Jesus’ Command to Love Your Neighbors -Michelle S. Lazurek
Amy Lively, author of How to love your Neighbor (Without Being Weird) says, “I had every excuse for not loving my neighbor, and a few I’m sure God had ever heard before– but I couldn’t find an asterisk or exception to get me off the hook. After months of arguing with God, I finally knocked on my neighbors’ door and invited her over for coffee. When it was my neighbor’s turn to knock on my door I found they were just as nervous as I was. We learned each other’s names, we laughed, we talked, we shared, and these neighbors walked out of my door as friends.”
But in this overextended, overstressed, independent world, how do we initiate relationships with our neighbors?
Here are a few ways you can fulfill God’s most important command without tacking it onto an already overscheduled life:
Write a note– In this day and age, people are more suspicious than ever about what might be lurking inside a welcome basket. Gone are the days when a neighbor could give a basket brimming with luscious fruits or candies without resisting the urge to split each goodie in half to look for mysterious materials. Sometimes a quick note and gift card can suffice. A simple note stating you are happy to have them in the neighborhood and giving them a night off can speak volumes in your love for them. This may pave the way for a neighbor to knock on your door to express their gratitude—and for you to open the door to a new relationship.
Start a Facebook group– Conduct a simple search on Facebook to see if our neighbors utilize the social media site. Create a group of neighbors and discuss topics on how to improve your neighborhood, put out the feelers for interest in get- togethers and discuss pop culture topics as a way to get to know your neighbors’ likes and dislikes. This gives you something to talk about when you bump into your neighbors on your nightly walk or an opportunity to roll down your window when you see them going to their car. Every conversation matters and brings you one step closer to a new friendship.
Crafters Unite– I’m not terribly crafty, but even I love an excuse to get out my adult coloring books and crayons and relax. Do any of your neighbors paint, draw, read or scrapbook? Ask to meet to create together, rather than separately. If you don’t participate in these hobbies, is there one you have always wanted to explore? Meeting a neighbor is the best reason ever to learn a new skill or indulge your crafting side on a regular basis.
We are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. Now you have a reason to merge beloved skills with a desire to fulfill Jesus’ greatest commandment.
Michelle is the author of An Invitation to the Table – Embracing the Gift of Hospitality.
Jesus spent a chunk of his ministry eating and drinking with the “”sinners and tax collectors”” of the world. If we strive to be more like Jesus, shouldnt we do more of what he did?
Hospitality involves more than the domesticated event we have grown accustomed to practicing. It is an embodiment of all the Christian life stands for: a gesture of love, opening up our hearts and lives, and sacrificing luxury and security for the chance to display Gods glory. To receive hospitality from others is an invitation to receive Gods transformative power to work in their lives.
Readers will ask themselves these questions:
- What is hospitality?
- Is it something I am, or something I do?
- How do I offer my life as a gesture of hospitality?
- What are some practical ways for me to display and receive hospitality?
For more from Michelle, visit www.michellelazurek.com
An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality is available on Amazon now!
Do you have other ideas about how we can love our neighbors? How do you you plan to open your home for hospitality this season. I would love to hear from you!