See Your Neighborhood: Jesus Moved In
Dear Kaleid Women,
Today we embark on a new series of Friday emails. As you know, Kaleid women are focused on deepening the ways we see ourselves, see others, and see our neighborhoods. We do this by engaging various perspectives and bringing greater understanding to bear where we are - in our faith, in our relationships, in our work, and in our homes.
For the next four weeks we turn our attention to a series we are calling “See the City: Live as a Neighbor.” We are excited to explore perspectives on neighboring.
To begin, we offer a passage familiar to many and fundamental in forming an understanding of Jesus, His gospel, and His kingdom:
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”
John 1:14-15 (The Message)
Jesus, the One who moved into the human neighborhood, has always had the first word. So we look to Him for the first word on seeing our city in order to neighbor well.
When Jesus moved into our neighborhood, He showed us the power of being in proximity. While me may not have the same “views” as our neighbors, we do share the same view - the same streetscape, the same grocery stores, the same thunderstorms, the same pool memberships. Sharing in this way provides common ground for us to intersect the lives of our neighbors with commonality, grace, and empathy.
When Jesus moved into our neighborhood, He showed us the power of loving in the flesh. John’s gospel speaks a lot about Jesus as a human. In part, this is because the author of the gospel was living in an early Christian community that was threatened by those who denied Jesus was actually flesh (a docetic view). By pointing out the flesh and blood reality of Jesus’ life, John calls us back to the importance of loving people in their physical state, just like Jesus engaged His world in physical ways.
When Jesus moved into our neighborhood, He showed us the power of owning our moment. Jesus came as a first century Jewish man to Palestine, a remote corner of the Roman empire. His world was quite small. While here, His humanity intersected the momentary existence of others, much like Him, in His town, with His language, and with His familial heritage. Moments matter. We inhabit our place and our time. We have opportunity to learn our context and seize moments of small, gracious neighboring within it.
So today, ponder some of these reflections as we lean into the power of being in proximity, the power of loving in the flesh, and the power of owning the moment:
How are we physically dwelling in our neighborhoods? Do we work the earth in our yard? Do we walk in our neighborhood? Do we stop to appreciate certain views of the sunrise or the springtime that are unique to our neighborhood? Do we greet our neighbors and seek to know them by name? Do we recognize the beauty of the story that is being told in the fabric of our community?
P.S. JOIN US for Contemplative Community! We are learning spiritual practices together, every Wednesday (12:30 - 1:00) and Thursday (8:30 - 9:00) in February. We hope you’ll drop in once or twice!