Where Are You in the Story of Your Neighborhood?

– Andy Wade –

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Where are you in the story of your neighborhood? Whether you live in a city apartment, urban neighborhood, suburban development, or even a rural setting, this is a really important question to ask.
Last week I posted a reflection, Injustice at the Table, in which I explored the great banquet passage from Luke and asked where we might see ourselves in that story. From my perspective, Jesus was exposing injustice at the table. In honestly answering the question, “Where are you in the story of your neighborhood?”, we can begin to uncover some of the issues, both personal and neighborhood community, that get in the way of being good neighbors.

Reflecting on this passage from Luke, who in my neighborhood:

  • are on my guest list? Why?
  • are those I’ve excluded? Why?
  • might feel excluded or alone?
  • What might cause those feelings of isolation and how can we, as neighbors, help to overcome those barriers?

In the shoes of the host:

  • Do I know my neighbors names?
  • Is my yard accessible and inviting?
  • Is my front porch light on at night?
  • Am I available?
  • Do I actively pursue connections with my neighbors?

Wearing the shoes of an invited guest:

  • Do I go to my neighbors to ask for help?
  • Am I appreciative of what my neighbors have to offer?
  • Do I share in keeping the neighborhood clean and welcoming?

Fitted with the shoes of an excluded guest:

  • Do I notice those who seem disconnected from the neighborhood?
  • Have I asked them what would help them feel more connected?
  • Can I easily step into the shoes of those who might be left out?
    • The home-bound?
    • The physically challenged?
    • The mentally challenged?
    • Those suffering from mental illness?

As you reflect on your neighborhood and this passage, what additional questions or ideas come to mind?

Imagine, for a moment, you were going to throw a giant neighborhood party:

  • What form(s) would your invitation be?
  • Would you invite everyone the same way? Why? Why not?
  • How would you make sure everyone felt truly included in the invitation?
  • Would you ask for an RSVP? If so and someone said, no, how would you respond?

Inquiring minds want to know – and to learn from each other!

Please leave your comments below.


Join Andy October 18th for the all-day workshop, Justice at the Table, as we explore together the intricate connections between food, fellowship, and faith. Not only will we will challenge ourselves and each other to bring our eating and buying practices more in line with our beliefs, we will also draft a “Justice at the Table Plan” to help us implement those changes!