Nancy Murphy delivers food to Barbara Bender in Portland, Oregon. (AP/Gillian Flaccus)

Nancy Murphy delivers food to Barbara Bender in Portland, Oregon. (AP/Gillian Flaccus)

This mosaic shows loaves of bread and fish. You can read the story of Jesus feeding the multitude with just a few loaves and fish in all four gospels.

This mosaic shows loaves of bread and fish. You can read the story of Jesus feeding the multitude with just a few loaves and fish in all four gospels.

Sisters Olivia and Isabella Gerasole cook dinner in their home in Evanston, Illinois. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Sisters Olivia and Isabella Gerasole cook dinner in their home in Evanston, Illinois. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

James Mendelson gardens in Chicago, Illinois. (AP/Stacy Thacker)

James Mendelson gardens in Chicago, Illinois. (AP/Stacy Thacker)

A volunteer packs onions in the warehouse of the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, California. (AP/Terry Chea)

A volunteer packs onions in the warehouse of the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, California. (AP/Terry Chea)

Who Is Your Neighbor?

Posted: January 1, 2022

Jesus loves people. He wants His followers to love too. That’s why He commands us to love our neighbors. Some of your neighbors may be hungry this year. What does that mean for you?

You can read in each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the first four New Testament books) the story of a boy who helped feed the hungry. A large crowd gathered to listen to Jesus. As the day drew on, they needed to eat. The disciples had no food to give them. The boy had five bread loaves and two fish. (John 6:9) He gave them up for the crowd. As Jesus handed out the food, it multiplied in His and His disciples’ hands. Those five loaves and two fish became enough to feed many—with 12 baskets of leftovers!

Here are some ideas for helping neighbors in a hard time:

  1. Drop off groceries.
  2. Make a batch of cookies or brownies and leave it for your neighbors with a note.
  3. Spring is on the way. What can you grow in your backyard, or even in a pot on a window sill, that could bless your neighbors? Supply chain problems drive prices up. There are no supply chain issues between your back yard and your neighbor’s front porch!
  4. Ask your mom and dad if you can invite people into your home for a meal.     
  5. Volunteer at a food bank.

Remember:

As you think about blessing your neighbors, it’s important to remember that . . .

  1. You don’t need to impress them with your good cooking or a fancy house. Show hospitality to demonstrate what Jesus is like: generous and compassionate!
  2. You can’t feed every hungry person. But you can feed someone something. You can’t do everything, but you can start somewhere. Jesus can do everything. He can even multiply your giving.
  3. You have talents. What need do they match? If you’re not a cook, can you help a neighbor in another way? Can you shovel snow? Tutor younger kids? Bring in mail for an elderly shut-in?