We have done our job as citizens; we cast our ballots and elected our leaders for the next two years. Now we can relax and watch them work, right?
Not if we really want to make our part of the world a great place to live. Government at its best can only keep evil from wrecking our lives. To make our neighborhood a great place to live requires something that government cannot and ought not to do. It requires that we decide to treat each other with warmth and grace.
What would your neighborhood be like if Jesus lived just down the street? (I know, He would have to be in disguise or the news media would be all over the place.) But if Jesus lived next door, how do you suppose He would treat you? What would He say when He met you going to work? What would He say when you were both out mowing the lawn? What would He be doing for the poor in our community? What would He be doing for the young people who are at risk? What would He be doing for those who are lonely or ill or disabled?
More than 75 percent of those of us who live in this community call ourselves Christians. That ought to make a huge difference in our community. At least it would if we were at all like Jesus.
We owe a great deal to the many in our community who do act like Him: the big brothers and big sisters; the Habitat for Humanity builders; the volunteers at the soup kitchen and food shelf; those who distribute clothing and help transients; the social service professionals who find ways to help with money, homes and protection; the caring workers at the nursing homes and the many volunteers who spend time visiting there. All of these and many more make Brainerd a better place to live.
As you prepare for Thanksgiving this year take stock of your life. Are you making your street, your neighborhood, your city a better place because of the love you share? Jesus is in heaven, but we have the privilege of being His ambassadors of love to those around us. There are still far too many people suffering needlessly and alone.
What are you going to do to care for them?
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