This week I had to bring my car into the shop to be serviced.

When I do this, I usually walk back to the church, or if I’m in a hurry, I might get a taxi.

But this week, I decided to take the bus.

It was fast and easy – a real pleasure, and a reminder (and perhaps a challenge to myself) that maybe I could use this wonderful public service more as I bop around town.

However, the most delightful surprise of the journey was the conversation I had with a stranger I met at the bus stop. This conversation continued all the way back to St. John’s—his final stop, too! This was a relatively new arrival to Canada who lived just a stone’s throw away from the church—our literal neighbour.

When we got off the bus together, I told him that I was the minister at St. John’s, and invited him to come check it out sometime, even just to say hi and take a look inside. He seemed interested in this invitation and shared that he hadn’t known if he was allowed to come in. I was happy to have the opportunity to share with him that we strive to be a place that is warm and welcoming to everyone, no matter who they are.

For the rest of this week, I have been thinking about this pretty ordinary experience and about the spiritual lessons that I believe that the Spirit was guiding me towards through it:  

  1. It is in our everyday, ordinary and mundane lives and routines that we are called to follow Jesus – to look out for the opportunities that God brings before us to love God and neighbour.
  2. To love our neighbours, we must know our neighbours, and we can’t know our neighbours if we never take a risk and reach out with compassion and curiosity.
  3. We cannot assume that people know that they are welcome to church, and the most effective way to do this isn’t a sign or website, but through relationship, personal invitation, and followers of Jesus living out the Way of Love in their lives.

May this be an invitation to slow down, pay attention, and see where God might be calling you to love God and neighbour this week in your life.

Thanks be to God!