By Whitney Ford

This ServeRDU we’re asking you to pray, serve, and connect at your campus as we seek to love our neighbors in the Triangle who are marginalized and hurting. Each campus has a variety of serving opportunities to choose from, like area improvement projects, prayer walking, creating teacher appreciation bags, and more. We’re asking you to join us as a way to respond to the call that we have in scripture to love our neighbors.

Isaiah 58 has been a formative passage in helping me understand what it really means to love our neighbors. In verses 6-7, Isaiah describes a mark of righteous living. He says “to loose the bonds of wickedness,” “to let the oppressed go free,” “to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house”; these things are acceptable to God. These are signs of genuine, Christian transformation and worship pointing to a lifestyle fueled by the love of Christ rather than the completion of projects driven by religious duty. God is commanding us to know our neighbors and care for them as he cares for us. We are to make their afflictions our own and intercede on their behalf to break their yoke of suffering and oppression. Volunteering once a year at ServeRDU is a start, but our prayer is that we will go beyond the service this week and actually get to know our neighbors. Do we treat our neighbors like real friends? Do we know their names and occupations? Do we eat dinner together? Do we go beyond the courtesy wave as we’re leaving the house and spend time getting to know them as people? Do we enter into their lives with the hope of the gospel? This is not easy; it takes time and sacrifice. But God calls us to love our neighbors, and it demands more of us than just charity; it means knowing our neighbors.

Knowing our neighbors may get messy. They’re messy and we’re messy, and together we’re all sinful, messy people in need of Christ. But God promises that when we care for our neighbors, those who are hurting, and the marginalized, he will sustain us: “if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually” (Isaiah 58:10-11). It is for our good to serve the king, and it is for his glory. As we get to know our neighbors and experience the stressors of authentic relationships, God will be with us.

So we ask you to join us July 23-30 for ServeRDU. Pray that God would use us, as his people, to reflect the gospel in both word and deed. Serve with us at your campus and get to know to people in your community. Connect with your neighbors and join us as we celebrate what God is doing in RDU.