Loving your neighbour (in lockdown)
As we come to the end of our tenth week of lockdown, we've all found it challenging at times to follow Jesus’ command to “love your neighbour” (Mark 12:30-31) especially given that, currently, loving your neighbour realistically means isolating yourself from them.
However, this does offer opportunities to connect with others in new and exciting ways, and the chance to hopefully build relationships that will continue past the end of the pandemic.
Here we offer some suggestions from Bristo, Scotland and beyond, on how to show love to others during this time.
Ideas from Bristo Baptist Church members
“We’ve been getting to know our immediate neighbours better by baking cakes for each other on alternate weeks and passing them over during the clap on Thursday nights” Christopher
“My next-door neighbours are in their early forties and both working full time from home during the pandemic. They have twp children, one who is able to get on with school work on his laptop. But the other younger child is about to start school after the summer holidays and has had to be left to her own devices a lot of the time while her parents worked – and has been playing up as a result.
Upon hearing their struggles over the garden hedge, I had an idea to put together a surprise “lockdown care package” to leave on their doorstep to cheer them up. I found an unused gift bag and other things I had in the house for my grandson, like chocolates and Jaffa cakes (plus a bottle of wine for the parents) and sneaked it round to their front door.
The next day I received a text asking if the lockdown fairy was me, to which I replied “I couldn’t possibly comment!" So they guessed, and were very appreciative of the kind act. I had also included a printout of “the Father’s Love Letter” but so far have had no comment regarding that - a conversation for another day!” Andrea
“The Bristo Baptist Church blog has been great to find a way to get involved with church from a distance. Even though the blog is new, I'm hoping it can be something church members can get involved in and enjoy together in our online space.
We're also aiming to create blogs that can be shared with those outside the church, if they're interested in learning more about what we do and believe.” Kate
Ideas from Baptists across Scotland
Every Sunday the Baptist Union of Scotland holds a National Prayer Evening on their Facebook page. On Sunday 17th May, their theme was “Loving your Neighbour.” People around Scotland gave many ideas on how to do this, from donating to food banks and assisting with their deliveries, to creating social media groups for neighbours to keep in touch and help each other out when needed.
As so many churches have now moved online, it was also suggested that links to Zoom services could be shared with others, or perhaps the Blessing UK video which involves over 65 churches and movements singing God’s blessings over our country.
As restrictions are now being lifted slightly, why not visit a friend who has a garden and have a good catch up, especially if they’ve been on their own during the lockdown? Even a telephone call will be appreciated!
If the good weather continues you could also offer to do gardening for somebody, an ideal activity for maintaining social distancing while having a conversation.
For somebody who still has to self-isolate or shield, a bunch of flowers will brighten up their home, while posting cards offering to help others in your street – with a short Bible verse on them, or an offer for prayer – will also go a long way in showing them God’s love at this difficult time.
If you find out it is somebody’s birthday or anniversary in your street, you could even arrange a socially distant street party to celebrate together!
Please let us what else you’ve been doing to show love to others during the lockdown!