Sometimes it is hard to love our neighbor when we really don’t know them. Sometimes people who are not like us can intimidate or scare us. Sometimes the negative stereotypes we hear prevent us from really seeing the person standing before us.
Mission trips and one-day outreach events are great ways to help us overcome these barriers. It is amazing what happens when we allow ourselves to experience others in new ways. Youth and adults who sign up and participate in trips and events experience direct contact with ‘neighbors’ they did not know before. And as with almost all people, once they got to know them they come to realize that they are pretty easy to love and serve. These experiences open us up to the possibilities that are in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and communities.
Our faith grows as we experience God’s love in action. This leads us on to action in the everyday places of our lives. There is a cyclical affect to faith and action. When we have faith we sense the call to share the love of Christ with others. When we share the love and see how it changes lives, then our faith grows. It is a wonderful thing to be doers of the word.
The goal of our Christian walk is to grow in our faith. If we are living out our faith in service to others, then our faith will grow. In James we are reminded that faith without action is dead. We cannot simply wish someone would have food and clothing; we must provide these things as we are able. When Christ’s love is alive and breathing in us, we must go forth to share that love with others. It is an amazing gift that we must share with others so they they too can come to know and share the love of Christ.
Scripture reference: James 2: 14-17