When Matthew met Jesus his whole world was turned around. He abandoned his corrupt occupation and embraced Jesus’ invitation to follow him. He became one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and later wrote one of the books of the Bible. But the first thing he did after his encounter with Jesus was throw a party.
Matthew invited all of his friends over to have dinner with Jesus. The greatest force of love had touched him and he couldn’t help but share it with the people around him.
Let’s be honest, Matthew’s friends were messy. They were guys whose moral compass was a little wonky and girls with bad reputations. The religious people freaked out when they saw Jesus with these characters. Jesus responded with kindness and grace.
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13 NIV
What I love about Jesus is his courageous love. He doesn’t avoid people with messy lives, he moves in.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. John 1:14 MSG
Jesus left the perfection of heaven and moved into our very messy neighborhood!
What if it’s not an accident that you moved into your neighborhood? What if you are the agent of God’s kindness and grace to the people who live around you?
We are partnering with hundreds of churches in Austin to love where we live. We believe that begins with knowing our neighbors. Less than 50% of Americans know their neighbor’s names. We’d like to change that! number! We have a great opportunity to meet our neighbors and strengthen our communities through National Night Out on October 6th. 2015.
Austin Chief of Police, Art Acevedo said good neighbors are just a bit nosy. They pay attention. He invited people to connect online through Nextdoor and then meet their neighbors face to face.
Will you host a block party on your street? We’ve provided some quick links for you on our website. Throw a party! Get to know the people around you so you can love where you live.