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Day 20 – Love at home

By Christabel Thwaites

Chrissie Thwaites is a Religious Studies PhD student at the University of Leeds and is part of Tearfund’s Young Theologians programme

1-minute read

‘Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up.’ (Romans 15:2)

This year, like much of the one before it, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep socially distanced from one another. Perhaps where you are, you’ve been wearing masks, maintaining distance from others when you can and seeing loved ones less. But no matter how disconnected we feel, we have a shared mutuality that connects us. We have seen, over the past two years, that we are all dependent on one another. For community, for comfort and for practical essentials – keeping the streets clean, growing food, treating illnesses, responding to emergencies and so on.

I’ve lived in my wonderful city – Leeds, in the UK – for a year now, and have recently been reflecting on what it means to call somewhere home. The conclusion I’ve reached is that it’s not just about me benefitting from what this city has to offer, but also how I give to my community, how I relate to others around me and how I love my neighbours. So this Christmas season, why not reflect afresh on who your neighbours are and adopt a disposition of hospitality towards them. Why not use whatever means you have to build up your neighbours, like Paul tells us, and to glorify God through your love for others.

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