Let Your Light Shine This Spring
. . . shine like stars in the universe. (Phil. 2:14-15)
Just as the closest stars shine the brightest, so we can shine the light of Christ into the lives of those near us – our neighbors, acquaintances, friends. In spring we automatically feel more hopeful as the weather warms up and flowers open. We can get outside and connect more with others. As we do, Jesus’ light within draws them closer to us, and ultimately to Him.
Who is nearby, in your path, with whom you could share your light and warmth?
The first step in reaching out to our neighbors is to pray for them. We can pray Scripture over them, asking God to work and open doors of ministry. Then we can step out in faith to connect with our friends and “not-yet” friends.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hilltop cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matt. 5:15)
Here are some seasonal and COVID-sensitive ideas to connect with strangers as well as acquaintances and friends. As you look through these choices, pick one or two ideas to start with.
Share Some Kindness
We value expressing God’s love through small acts of kindness. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a gentle reminder that someone is thinking of them?
- Attach a note to Mason jars or cellophane bags filled with inexpensive items from Dollar Tree. The note could say, “It’s a treat to have you as a neighbor. Happy spring!”
- Bake hot cross buns, a fun Good Friday tradition
- Drop off an Easter lily, spring plant, or seed packets with a note that simply says, “Praying fresh blessings over your family this spring.”
- Offer to do yard work or other service
- Bring banana bread to a neighbor (recipe below)
- Make lemonade and invite neighbors to your yard for a sip
“If You Feel Comfortable” Outside
This one phrase brings freedom as we navigate connecting with our neighbors. It allows them the opportunity to more easily say “yes” or “no, thank you” to what we might offer.
- An Easter drive-through scavenger hunt. You provide jokes and Easter symbols.
- Give out sidewalk chalk for decorating driveways like stained-glass windows or some other design, and maybe award prizes
- Host an egg hunt with outside games
- Host an Easter driveway potluck
- Enjoy coffee on deck with friends
- Take a bike ride with another family
- An Easter bonnet contest. Children decorate straw hats (Dollar Tree) with flowers, candy, etc. and win a prize for the best one.
Brightening Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a natural holiday for women to be honored. What a great opportunity to come alongside mothers in your path to offer encouragement.
- On the doorstep leave flowers in a jar with a note.
- Host an outdoor tea party or lunch.
- Invite a new “empty-nest” mom over for a meal.
We also want to recognize that this day may be difficult. For those dealing with loss, Mother’s Day can intensify their grief. For those who have recently lost their mother, a kind note might be deeply appreciated. Also for those who are not yet mothers, here is a helpful website:www.waitinginhopeinfertility.com. Simply acknowledging the difficulty this day brings may genuinely minister to their hearts.
How to Transition to Spiritual Conversations
These acts of kindness provide opportunities to begin relationships with those around us. As we are connecting with people, we want to share our hope in Christ. Heather Holleman, author of Sent, suggests the following seven questions and responses to begin a spiritual conversation:
|What’s your biggest stressor during COVID-19?||I can pray for this. This also reminds me of how God brought me through something similar. . .|
|What are you celebrating–or what is going well for you?||I’m celebrating this answer to prayer or this way God was faithful. . .|
|What question do you wish people would ask you right now?||I love to talk about what I’m learning in Scripture. . .|
|What thought keeps going through your mind that you cannot get rid of?||I sometimes think of certain passages of Scripture when I’m stuck. . .|
|How are you taking care of yourself during COVID-19?||I’m doing some cool morning rituals for well-being like my Bible reading and gratitude journal. . .|
|How are you staying motivated?||I’m thinking a lot about God giving me fresh power and ability to work. . .|
|What are you learning?||I’m learning this great thing in the Bible. . .|
Would you like to take the next step by beginning a neighbor Bible study? On Tuesday March 16th, we are hosting a 90- minute workshop designed to help you begin. Click here to register.
Would you like to see the full 60-minute Let Your Light Shine webinar? Click here.
We anticipate all the seeds that will grow as you sow in faith. It really is as simple as choosing one small idea, making it your own, and then doing it with anticipation of all that God will do. We are with you in prayer. If we can serve you or pray specifically for your steps of faith, let us know!
The NBS2GO team