Things to Think About in the Art of Neighboring - Reservoir Church
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Things to Think About in the Art of Neighboring

May 16, 2016

Pope Francis On Loving God and Your Neighbor:

“In the middle of the thicket of rules and regulations – of the legalisms of yesterday and today – Jesus opens a gap that allows you to see two faces: the face of the Father and that of the brother,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“He doesn’t deliver us two formulas or two precepts, but two faces, indeed one face, the face of God reflected in many faces, because in the face of each brother, especially in the smallest, the most fragile and the most helpless, the same image of God is present.”

The true novelty Jesus brings to these commandments is that he puts them together, revealing that they are inseparable and complementary, “(like) two sides of the same coin.”

One of the most visible signs of God’s love that a Christian can give is to love one’s neighbor, he said, noting how Jesus doesn’t put love of God at the top of the list of commandments, but rather “at the center, because it’s from the heart that everything begins and to which it must come back.”

“No longer can we divide prayer, the encounter with God in the sacraments, from listening to others, from closeness to their lives, especially to their wounds.”

1) Loving God and loving your neighbor, Pope Francis suggests are inseparable and complementary – “like two sides of the same coin”.  Many of us are inclined to flip this coin – operating either in the loving God space  – or the loving your neighbor space.  What would it look like to spin this coin of neighboring on its axis this week and be amidst the blur of both God and brother/sister?

2)  Pope Francis highlights that God is evident in the smallest, the most fragile and the most helpless of our neighbors.  Do you have neighbors that reflect this?  How have your interactions been with these neighbors?  Ask God to give you eyes and next steps for your neighbors in this vein.

1)  Take a minute this week to pause and ask God to show you his face in your neighbors?

2)  As you pray this week, as you take communion this week, as you confess & forgive this week – invite God to bring close the lives of your neighbors – that are on His heart and yours.


Jeremiah 29:4-7 (MSG)

4 This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:

5 “Build houses and make yourselves at home.  “Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.

6 “Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.

7 “Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.

“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”

Jeremiah is challenging the Hebrew people to not withdraw from the city around them and simply wait for God to deliver them.  Despite being captured by their enemies and brought to this pagan city of Babylon – Jeremiah suggests that they:
– Make homes in the city.
– Get jobs in the city.
– Grow their families in the city.
– Do life in the city!

  1. How has “doing life” in your community/city looked?
  2. What have been the biggest hurdles to “doing life” in the way that Jeremiah suggests?
  3. What have been exciting experiences or even inclinations of “doing life” in the way Jeremiah suggests?

Try “doing life” in your city via one of these fun events in the month of June:

Safer Homes, Safer Community – Gun Buy Back,  
6/11:  9am –

Teacher Appreciation in Our Local Schools,
Coming up in June  – 

Annual Iftar Dinner Fresh Pond Apts., 364 Rindge Ave.,
6/18:  12pm prep, 7:30 dinner –

Soccer Nights Russell Field, 333 Rindge Ave.,
6/27 – 7/1, Evenings –


Jeremiah 29:4-7 (MSG)
7 “Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”

Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NLT)
7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile.
Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

In the New Living Translation it says to work for the “peace and prosperity” of the city where you live.  And in the Message translation it says “make yourselves at home”.  I can wonder if a big piece of making ourselves at home – is infact sowing into the peace and prosperity of our lives and the collective lives that surround us.

  1. As you think about working toward “peace and prosperity” or “making yourself at home” in your community – what comes to mind?  Do either of these two phrases ring true to what you feel in your neighborhood?

In this verse of Jeremiah – it seems to suggest that there is a positive correlation between how “life” goes for our surrounding communities/neighborhoods and how our own life is experienced.   

2)  As you look around at the people in your neighborhood what picture of their welfare do you gain?  How does this, if at all, reflect upon your own welfare?

3)  In the New Living Translation, Jeremiah encourages the people to “Pray to the Lord for it (peace and prosperity), and in the Message “to Pray for the city of Babylon”.  What are the needs of your neighborhood and city?  How can you pray into them this week?

Consider joining us as we pray for our neighbors, neighborhoods & cities:
24 Hours of Prayer Event: MAY 20 @ 8:00 PM – MAY 21 @ 8:00 PM
Reservoir Church in the Dome.

The first and final hour will be larger group events with some programming. For the rest of the hours we will rely on individuals to sign up. There will be a variety of tools available in the church Dome area to inspire your prayer.

You can sign up to be part of the 24 Hours of Prayer  or contact Dorothy Hanna with any questions at