Four Way Faith Part Three - Out: God's Gift of Neighbours. We must follow Jesus’ example with Zacchaeus to accept the hospitality of those who different from ourselves, who others look down upon and speak ill of, even those who cause harm to others. Through accepting the gift of others we break down barriers and our lives, others lives and the kingdom of God benefit. When new people move into the houses, streets and towns around us (even our churches) it can be tempting to complain about change, to reflect on the way things used to be, or the people we used to see. Our challenge as Christian’s is to have the view of seeing the outsiders, the others, our neighbours as gifts, welcoming and accepting the gift they are and the gifts they bring.
As Christ is revealed in us and so we revealed as the children of God for whom creation awaits with eager longing. As Christians, as followers and believers in Jesus and his Way, filled with God’s Spirit and seeking to glorify the Father we must have a mindset such as that described by Stan Rushworth, thinking about “obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself.” In serving the planet we serve ourselves, our neighbours and our God for all are interconnected.
We are gifted with the natural world to enjoy the way it makes us feel and gives us life, to enjoy the fruits and harvest it provides, to receive healing for ourselves, our souls, our bodies, and our minds. Time amongst nature aids renewal for relationships and depth of connection with God, ourselves, our neighbours and our shared world.