Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 5:14,16 – You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)
I once lived in one of the most beautiful areas in southern Ontario. It was filled with tall, ancient oak trees, and the property had a huge garden. I was still of school age and thought that this was wonderful, and it was.
But the thing I missed was someone to pal around with. Although the people living in this area always waved when they passed by, no one took the time to introduce themselves, and I found it rather lonely.
I lived there until I was married, when we moved into a new subdivision. We settled on a quiet street with lots of young adults all around the same age. Here we had wonderful fellowship as we began our individual families. We had corn roasts, barbecues, and, yes, we had parties inside when winter set in.
We became great friends who watched out for one another. Every corn roast, I remember how the men would check on the sleeping children to make sure all was well with them. All the families were involved with their churches, and all the children attended with their parents, going to Sunday school.
Then came a time when my mother, then widowed, found it too much to look after her home with all the work of raking leaves, and also attending to a full-time job. She decided to sell her home, but talked this over with my husband and me before she put it on the market. My husband asked me if I thought we should purchase this lovely piece of Ontario and eventually build a new home there.
I really didn't have to think it over much when I thought of the lovely fellowship we had where we were living. It was so great to have other children for our children to play with, and people of the same age with much in common. No, although it would have been lovely to live in the bush among all those grand, tall oak trees, I remembered how cold and lonely I used to feel, isolated on that street.
My friends, listen up, for times have changed from those now long-gone days. Today has become packed with television, the Internet, and technology, instead of the much more simple way of life, leaving many families feeling isolated and lonely. The old way of living, when the church in our community was the hub of our lives, has changed, and many people have little or no knowledge of the Bible. Now is the time for us to reach out in our neighbourhoods and seek to re-establish that kind of caring concern we once had. It is only when we as Christians build bridges to our unchurched neighbours that we will see these new relationships develop. Given this opportunity, we can then, in Christ, draw people into a relationship with God.
We can't put an end to today's quickening pace of technological change, but we can express to our neighbours that all the riches and all the technology of this world won't fill the void of loneliness. And without God, there is no security in eternity. When we truly seek the kingdom of God, that should motivate us to have concern and care for one another.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, be close to those who do not know You. Help us to be living examples who will draw people into a relationship with You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.