Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.
As believers, we know that Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. (Mark 12:31) When we think about loving our neighbors, we think about delivering meals, inviting people into our homes, handshakes, hugs, and gatherings. But in this unprecedented time of social distancing, most of these things aren't possible. We want to responsibly care for each other by maintaining our distance in love, but without losing touch. We also recognize that many of our neighbors may have a higher risk of sickness and aren't comfortable or able to get out and run necessary errands for groceries and prescriptions.
So how can we love our neighbors and friends well during this season?
Send a text or pick up the phone and call them and see how they're doing. If you don't have their phone number, we've created an easy printable note that you can print, write in your phone number, sign it and drop it off at your neighbors' homes. It's an easy way to make a connection and offer to run necessary errands in a very practical, loving way.
My family has taken approximately 3 walks a day just to get out and have a change of scenery! Our dog, Ben, is the real winner in this situation. He's having the time of his life with all of his people at home and constantly getting to go on walks. We've loved passing our neighbors and getting to see people to wave hello and pausing to ask how people are doing.
Use technology to its full potential.
It's going to be easy to feel isolated and completely separated from the people we love in our community. Hearing a voice or a laugh is priceless and beautiful! We want to stay as connected as possible, so it's time to pick up the phone and call our friends. People don't use the phone much anymore to make a phone call, but now's the time to change that. My family was able to FaceTime with another family from the dinner table a few nights ago. We all loved seeing each other and it almost felt like sharing a meal together! Try to call at least one friend or loved one every day.
Connect with a group at Shandon.
Community is a key component to our spiritual and emotional health and, at Shandon, we want to provide ways to keep people in our community connected to each other in small groups. You can sign up to be a part of a group that will meet using Zoom. Community is more important than ever right now as we seek hope and encouragement. By joining a connection group through Zoom at Shandon, you'll be met with encouragement and people that will point you to the hope that is found in Jesus alone. The church is not an event, but a family.
I believe that God never wastes an opportunity. Our entire world has been turned upside down, but the truth of the Gospel remains. We know that God is control and He pursues us into relationship with Him. He has provided us with a beautiful opportunity to pause and love the people that are the closest to us.
Please reach out if we can answer any questions about Shandon, community, or about the good news of the Gospel.