Sunday, October 17, 2010

Who is my neighbor?

I'm fired up, and have nowhere yet to go. I have plans, outline, drafts and revisions stacked up on the corner of the desk in my head, and my work surface is cluttered with gems, bits, pieces of information that need to get out into the world-

I'm chomping at the bit. I just need to know where to go, I just need that gate to open and the gun to fire, and watch me run.

Buy Local, buy fresh. Farmer's markets, the state of agriculture in America today, the decline of diversification, the modern consumer based lifestyle, the failure of the concept of art in the domestic arts...

You name it, I can tie any aspect of our failing culture to the failure to buy local. It's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon, except it's not an actor, it's a cultural movement.

How do I get this idea out to people? How do i feed them this magnificent feast of possibilities? I'm fired up and ready- please, won't you please put me on stage?

And this isn't just about the local economy- this is about the body of Christ. Who is my neighbor? The small business owner down the block. How do I love my neighbor? By putting food on his table and money in his pocket to spend at his favorite local store, buy enabling him to employ some locals who need the work. They, in turn, buy with the money that has originated from your pocket.

Where do you work? Is your paycheck from a corporate office from far afar away? Why send it back there, when your neighbors need it here in Buffalo? Why not keep the money in house? Every dollar you plunk down at a local business is a seed planted and watered, blessing our town. Why pay companies with poor ethical practices, funding human rights abuses?

We are the hands and feet of Christ, and by doing the most culturally acceptable thing to us - spending money - we can build up entire communities, revitalize local agriculture, make new friends across the counter, and give witness to the fact that we shall be known by our love for one another.

I dream of a church brimming over, teeming with functional applicable ways to love our neighbor, a church where people come because they are impressed with our unyielding commitment to loving in and around and beyond our community. Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. Judea - culturally close, physically close. Buy Local. Samaria. Refugees from Burma and Sudan live on the West Side, by Canisius college, etc. Grow a garden and bring the fruits of your labor, as an offering to God, to food pantries for refugees. Volunteer for one of the many institutions in Buffalo for aiding refugees.

The ends of the earth. Evangel funds missionaries faithfully, one of the biggest mission giving churches in the area, praise God. We've sent people out, we've prayed, we've paid. The ends of the earth are covered. Now go next door.

No comments:

Post a Comment