Yes We Can Change the World

A couple of weeks ago, a benefit was held in the little village of Pilot Oak, maybe 20 minutes from here, for a family facing huge medical bills. The event was a tremendous success, exceeding all expectations and lasting longer into the evening than planned because of great community support.

Filling up space with names of all involved isn’t the point here. What I’d like us to reflect on is the fact that all those involved in putting the project together, and supporting it, fulfilled in fine style what Jesus called the second greatest commandment:

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).”

Let’s focus on that word “love.” A definition I like is “desiring the greatest good for our neighbor.” The greatest good, of course is God, but we should be ready to assist a neighbor with material needs as well. So love is what happened in Pilot Oak.

Now to the world “neighbor.” We sometimes give the word too restrictive a definition, having it refer only to those people living close to our home. Of course they are neighbors, but if the word pertains only to them, we would be showing God’s love just to a handful of folks instead of hundreds and thousands.

That certainly isn’t what Jesus had in mind. As I sit here in Mayfield, people next door and across the street are neighbors, but so are those in Pilot Oak and Paducah and Murray and Montana and Mexico. I am called to be the face of Christ for every human I run into, near and far away. And so are you.

That’s what made the Pilot Oak event so special. Maybe not from Montana and Mexico, but people did come from all around to support the benefit, because doing the right thing for someone in need mattered, not for the sake of some prize won at the auction, but because attending was the right thing, the Christian thing, to do.

If there is a lesson to be learned from the evening, perhaps it is this: if we see some need that isn’t being met, some chance to do something good and make a difference in the lives of others, let’s not stay quiet about it and wait for someone else to see what we see and take action.

Every believer has God-given strength within them. We have perhaps untapped talents and skills just begging to be used for a good cause. We can organize friends and neighbors and resources and take on that challenge.

We don’t need to wait for local or national government. On our own, we can change the world for the better. We need only to let God guide us, and then watch the magic happen!

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