Marathon on Mission: Loving our Neighbors

Posted by Andrew Smith on

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for being flexible and adaptable as a Church family. When we found out we weren’t going to be able to use Marathon Music Works on June 4th, there was never a sense of worry. You all truly live into “being” the Church, and sending our Marathon Church family into the city on a Sunday excites me. There are lives that will be touched that wouldn’t have been otherwise. I also want to clearly state that our Sunday worship gatherings are valued and an important part of us being the Body of Christ — encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 12).

As we shared the past two Sundays, we will not be formally meeting at Marathon Music Works this Sunday, June 4th. The owners of the venue had an opportunity that was really going to bless them and their staff — and we want to honor and bless them when we have the opportunity to do so. Instead, we will scatter across the city to love and serve our neighbors in the name of Jesus. If you remember, back in April, we did something similar the week following Easter, so for some of you this may be an opportunity to continue what you already started — or an opportunity to follow up with someone you met.

 

Below are a few ideas you can draw from for Sunday. Feel free to combine one or all of these ideas. Also, don't do this alone. Invite your house church, neighbors, and friends to participate with you. Post an idea below in the comments or on the Marathon Family Facebook page

 

1. LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS THROUGH FELLOWSHIP

In Luke 24, on the Sunday that Jesus rose from the dead, Luke tells of a moment when two disciples found themselves walking on the road to Emmaus. It was on this journey that the risen Jesus met them and spent the day listening to what God was stirring up in their hearts. The story ends with Jesus sitting down at a table to share a meal with these two disciples. Luke tells us that as the bread was broken (or as the meal began) their minds were opened to all that Jesus was trying to teach them all along.

What we see unfolding in Luke 24 is still one of the most powerful ways that Jesus reveals himself to those around. When we open up our lives, our homes, and our ears to the individual stories of the people who are living all around us — God often does incredible things to reveal the person of Jesus to the neighbors we are learning to love well.

So, on June 4th, we encourage you to host breakfast, lunch, or dinner for your neighbors. Extend the invite. Prepare the food. Open your home. Share a meal, and simply listen to their story. Ask them about their lives. Ask them about their hopes and dreams, fears and needs. Listen and listen well.

Don't be surprised if they in turn ask you to share your story, so be prepared to share the beauty of Jesus in the midst of your own story.

This meal could be small intimate gathering with one or two neighbors. Or for those of you who are over the top extroverts — this could be a neighborhood block party — with intentional time for people to share their stories with one another as they sit around a table. Either way —  be intentional about going deeper with those whom you live in close proximity with.

For a helpful guide from our last Love our Neighbor Sunday click here.

 

2. LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS THROUGH SERVICE

Another way you can love your neighbors well on Sunday, is through acts of service. One of the most tangible ways to demonstrate the love of God is to embrace the servant heart of Jesus Christ. Below we have listed several ways you can show the love of Jesus to your neighbors.

Create Your Own Way to Serve:

  • Bake cookies and write a note of encouragement for your neighbor
  • Offer to do free yard work as your neighbors prepare their yards for summer
  • Visit a local nursing home and spend time encouraging the residents and staff
  • Visit the waiting room at local hospitals to pray with and encourage the families who are in the midst of a difficult experience.
  • Make sack lunches and go share a meal with a contributor salesperson
  • Write a note of encouragement to our public leaders and servants
  • Take a goodie basket or prepare a meal for the public servants at a local firehouse or police station

For a helpful guide from our last Love our Neighbor Sunday click here.

 

3. LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS THROUGH PRAYER

One way you can love your neighbors well on Sunday, is to do a prayer walk around your neighborhood, workplace, or the parts of town you frequent regularly. If you have never done a prayer walk — they are quite simple and can be very fruitful. Below is a link for the resources from this past Easter. This is designed to give you some practical ideas as well as a theological understanding for why praying for particular parts of the city can be a powerful witness to the risen Jesus in our city. In order to be most effective, I recommend you download the guide, get a group of friends or your house church together, and then make plans to spend ample time on Sunday walking and praying for your neighbors.

For a helpful guide from our last Love our Neighbor Sunday click here.

 

4. LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS THROUGH ENCOURAGEMENT

Another way you can love our neighbors is by encouraging our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in the North Nashville / Marathon / Jackson Street community. Although we won’t be gathering as a larger body on Sunday, there are many churches within a few blocks of Marathon Music Works. You may want to take this opportunity to build Kingdom friendships and relationships with other brothers and sisters that come from different backgrounds and traditions. Maybe this is an opportunity to learn from one another? Here are a few churches within a mile from Marathon.

  • Clark Memorial United Methodist Church
    • 1014 14th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208
    • Worship: 8AM & 10:45AM
    • clarkumcnashville.org
    • **Spoke to staff and they know some of our family members might be coming
  • Jackson Street Church of Christ
    • (1408 Jackson Street, Nashville, TN 37208)
    • Worship: 10AM
    • jacksonst.org
    • **Spoke to staff and they know some of our family members might be coming
  • Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
    • 1307 Ireland St, Nashville, TN 37208
    • Worship: 11:00AM

    These are just a few options, but a simple google maps search will bring up all the other churches in the area.

     

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