How To Be Asked To Leave The Neighborhood

A reading for Wednesday, June 4, 2014: Matthew 8:28-34.

Today's how-to lesson... How to be asked to leave the neighborhood, Jesus style.

First, identify a problem that needs to be addressed, like some members of the community that are terrorizing others, so much so that others can't even enter the neighborhood because of fear. Because of these that are literally "out of their minds," the whole neighborhood suffers.

Second, offer to help by giving peace to the neighborhood. Use the power God has given you to bring unconditional peace and justice to those that are suffering. No matter who they are and what they have done, grant peace and hope to all you meet and all that ask for help.

Third, never let anything keep you from the task at hand. Not politics, not race, not religion, not family, and not even economics. Even if someone's bottom line will be affected negatively, make sure you still offer the peace that God has given you to offer. The neighbors are counting on you, whether they know it or not, to bring peace at any cost... at any cost.

This is how-to be asked to leave the neighborhood. In fact, the story about Jesus says that "they begged him to leave their neighborhood." The neighborhood had gotten used to it's dysfunction. People who lived there counted on it. They loved it just a little. It made more sense to them than the peace that Jesus came to offer. So they simply asked Jesus to leave.

No Jesus. No peace. No problem. That's what they were saying... as they asked him to leave.

Look around. Look at your neighborhood. Where do you see yourself in the story above from Matthew 8? Are you the problem? Are you terrorizing your neighbors, or your coworkers, or your parents, or your friends? Or are you the one bringing peace in Jesus name? Maybe you are the one asking that Jesus leave well enough alone? Or are you the one being asked to leave the neighborhood so that everything can stay the same?

Do you love your dysfunction just a little more than the peace that Jesus comes to offer?

We're all in the story someplace, whether we know it or not. Where do you stand on peace? Jesus style?

Jesus is in your neighborhood today. What do you know how to do?


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