How do we treat those we live in close proximity to?
Reference: v. 10 "'In that day each of you will invite his neighbour to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the Lord Almighty." (NIV Bible)
Explore: The angel that is talking to Zechariah has just proclaimed that the Lord will remove all the sin from the land, and verse 10 is the response the people will have. When there is no sin then people will have positive relationships with each other.
I guess that will half the current affair shows on our TVs – ahhh, yet another good reason to erradicate sin!! On Today Tonight or A Current Affair there always seems to be a segment where they display the actions of nightmare neighbours. It's amazing how horrible people can be to each other when they live side-by-side (and it's also amazing how much dodgy shows on TV cash in on this repulsive behaviour… but that's a whole other passage!!)
Application: Having just moved into a new neighbourhood I have not yet experienced any nasty neighbour behaviour. However I have been reminded how difficult it is to get to know your neighbours. We live in a town house where we share side walls with our neighbours and yet we could go weeks without even exchanging a 'hello'.
If we are to begin to live our lives as God desires it, then we need to start making peace with our neighbours. This doesn't mean just ignoring them and leaving them in peace, but to bring them 'under your vine and fig tree' as Zechariah puts it. In other words, to share your life and resources with them. In this day and age it will mean going out of our way to give the invitation, but maybe that will make an even bigger impact.
Prayer: Lord, for some reason I can get so shy around people I don't know very well. Give me confidence to share Your love by opening up my home and my heart to those who live around me. Amen.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.