As I began writing this, I was over 2,500 miles from home in Morocco. I was spending some time learning to surf before heading back to university. Pretty cool right? Even though air travel is incredibly normalised, it still amazed me how I was transported to a place where winter grey skies were nowhere to be found in just a matter of hours. This is just one small illustration of how life takes place in our incredibly interconnected world.
Connect the dots
Every decision we make is somehow complexly linked to others, whether it’s those close to us or those on the other side of the planet. Over the last two decades alone travel, technology, politics, capital, trade and culture have experienced major worldwide exchange, growth and innovation through globalisation. We are all embedded in this social process which connects us with others around the world through what we buy, wear, watch and listen.
So, what does this mean for those striving to follow Jesus today? Jesus says to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ and to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:30-31). And when Jesus is asked ‘who is my neighbour?’ in Luke 10, a parable is offered presenting a vision of far-reaching, uncompromising and boundless love. The type of love which breaks down walls and destroys narratives of ‘us vs. them’ and ‘inequality is inevitable.’
All together now
It’s pretty clear that we need to love the people next to us. But we also need to love those we don’t see directly, but are a part of our personal global neighbourhood. To start we must acknowledge that we don’t live in isolation. Our everyday actions impact, not only ourselves but others both near and far. This may seem obvious, but we often forget that it’s a substantial responsibility. Community is key because that responsibility is shared together. As individuals can’t tackle every single injustice we hear about, but we can each play our part.
We must consider how our lives would look if we pursue this call. The question is: what do you have to give?
Love in action
Why not spend some time praying and reflecting on how you can give your money, voice, time and gifts to love your neighbours? Let’s pray in hope that the lives of our neighbours will be changed for the better through changes made in our own lives and communities.
Why not gather with like-minded people and challenge each other to take part in Tearfund’s Mean Bean challenge in March? It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of poverty and get sponsored to help our global neighbours tackle it. I’ve taken part in the challenge before and it was an incredibly worthwhile experience. Even a small glimpse into hunger is extremely eye-opening. It’s something that people like Nida, had to deal with for so much longer than just one week.
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