Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

People Need People

by David Lemming

As we come to a New Year that holds so much promise, let’s make the most of this year for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the fall of 2022, at the beginning of our new Life Group year (September-May), we introduced the “Love Where You Live” campaign. It is really very simple and asks each of you to do what the Bible commands, to love your neighbor as yourself.
During 2020, we isolated from one another to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Some might argue whether these efforts were effective or not, but that’s not the point of this article. A number of studies now show that the isolation people experienced during the pandemic has had a noticeable psychological and physiological effect on people’s lives. A lot of children fell behind in their educational pursuits and have struggled to catch up to their grade level. It will be years before we really know the full effects of the virus and the different measures we took to stop the spread. It is incontrovertible, though, that there will be plenty of opportunities to “Love Where You Live” and to show people that you care about them.
Over the coming cold months of this New Year and into the spring of 2023, let’s all intentionally seek ways to love the people right where we live. Before we can make inroads to sharing the Gospel with others, we first must get out of our proverbial “bubbles” and show an interest in the people that are already in our neighborhoods and friendly social networks. Actually, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to reach out to others to show them compassion and kindness. A friendly smile, a word of encouragement, a kind deed or a listening ear for someone else will go a long way in rehabilitating your own weary soul and spirit. There is something spiritually therapeutic that happens in you when you affect another person’s life by bringing joy, comfort, love, and encouragement to them.
I know from personal experience that for many of us the natural thing to do when life is turned upside down, as it was during the pandemic and in other life situations, is to withdraw and to isolate in hope of handling things on your own. However, what you soon discover is that the more isolated you become the more suffering you experience in your own body, soul and spirit. Even the shyest person among us needs people to walk with them along this journey we call life.
Obviously, I’m not talking about being a constant bother or making yourself unwelcome by too much togetherness or untimely contact. The love and concern of which I speak is always conscious of the appropriate time, place and length of involvement when seeking to be a blessing to others. But, as someone has said, “people need people” and there will be lots of opportunities in 2023 to be that person who makes a real difference in another person’s life.
My prayer for all of you and for our church is that we might be the instruments of God’s love to others in 2023. The greatest way to live your life is in giving it away to bless others and doing it “for the cause of Christ.” Remember the words of Jesus and know they are always true: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39 ESV)
May this be a year that many of us “lose our lives” in “Loving Where We Live!”

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