Last summer, someone made a wise observation that has stayed with me for weeks – the Church responds swiftly when there’s an acute, immediate need. Food drives are organized, candlelight vigils spring up across the community, and every person feels a call to get involved and serve the hurting. Then we drift from being spiritually mobilized back into being spiritually tranquilized.
We’re busy people, after all! And sometimes in the midst of our busyness, we have a nagging habit of forgetting things from the recent past. It’s nothing new for God’s people – in the Old Testament God reminds His chosen nation over and over not to forget Him and His protection. It’s part of our fallen nature to dwell on our own things, our own sins, our own lives, while neglecting our brothers and sisters.
Let us not be so hasty to forget those around us.
The Christian life is both spiritual and physical. That means we act out our love for God in our love of people. Whenever I fall into a trap of self-pity, insecurity, or busyness (which is far more often than I’d like to admit), I make a conscious decision to stop, and call or text someone I haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s a great way to remember that I’m not the only one in the world. When Jesus said, “I am with you always…” he wasn’t just talking to me. I’m not the only person Jesus is with. He’s with all of His people, and part of our worship of the risen, reigning Savior is to be with them too.
The people in Aurora are still healing, still going through physical therapy, still mourning the deaths of their loved ones. There was a genuine outpouring of prayer and support by people across the country. Everyone stopped and asked hard questions about safety, re-examined violence in media, and wrote blog posts and sermons about the tragedy. Two months removed, how often do we pray for them now?
Your pastor is battling insecurity, strife, and lust. Don’t forget about him.
Your next-door neighbor is still grieving the loss of her husband. The funeral has come and gone, along with the mourners, but every day is a bitter reminder that she wakes up and goes to bed without her beloved. Don’t forget her.
Your coworker is still concerned about her second-grader being bullied each day in class. Don’t forget him.
Your best friend is in grad school, spending six hours a night in the library but still feeling like she can’t measure up. Don’t forget her.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. God has not forgotten about our neighbor. Have we?