Week 9: New Year! New Neighbors?

The calendar does not say January, but because of the rhythm of the school year, August feels like the beginning of the year for most folks.  There are new classes, new activities, and perhaps even a new school.  AND there may likely be some new neighbors to meet.  You may have a new family who has moved onto your block, and you probably will have several new families in your school.  Take a moment to remember what it is like to be new folks in a new place.  This is a busy time for almost everyone, but if you are new to the area it would be easy to get anxiously caught up in all of the questions. "How do I get our kids registered for school?”  “What day does the trash get picked up?”  “I need to find a new doctor. Who could I call for that?" "What are my neighbors going to be like?"

What does it look like to be a good neighbor to your new neighbors?  Notice them.  Open your eyes to see the moving truck on the neighborhood, or the new person at the school or at a neighborhood activity. Make a quick introduction. When you first notice that someone is new, you won’t have a nice note or fresh baked cookies ready to deliver, but don’t let that stop you. “I know you must be busy but I wanted to introduce myself and I’d like to exchange phone numbers. I’d be happy to be of any help.“ A thoughtful follow up. A few days later, check back with a friendly call or drop off the note or cookies.  “I hope you are settling in well.  If you want a suggestion for pizza delivery, or an internet provider, or a church, or dog groomer, I’m happy to help.”

Let’s put into practice what Chris taught us on Sunday...
The word hospitality (1 Peter 4:9) applies primarily to strangers. When you know the end is near, Peter says "If you get an opportunity to welcome a neighbor, take it. Make the most of it. No, the house isn’t clean. No, you don’t have time to prepare a great meal. No, it doesn’t feel like you’ve got time to. But you might not have time not to. So make the most of it. Love deeply. Whenever, whoever you get a chance."