• Margaret Blake

When I needed a neighbour

Last week Ruth wrote about giving the gift of kindness and hope to others. As someone who has received the gift of kindness from others this week I can vouch for what hope and joy it gives to the recipient. At the end of a challenging week our doorbell kept ringing. First it was an old friend with a jar of chutney she knew we would like, then it was a little boy from our street with a handmade thank you card. On Saturday morning the doorbell rang again and the girls next door gave us some cup cakes as a belated lockdown birthday treat.


The last 9 months have been really hard for many people but in my street it has certainly brought people together. We have a group WhatsApp to share news, upcycle unwanted items, and ask for and offer help. There is a shared vegetable patch, community library and door-step dancing. In advent we are decorating our windows and someone has arranged a reverse advent calendar for the Foodbank on her doorstep. 2020 has not been the year we planned or hoped for but the limitations have helped us to appreciate the community in which we live and to care for and be cared for by our neighbours.


Jesus teaches us to love our neighbour as ourselves. His parables and teaching make it clear that this extends beyond our near neighbours and people we know, to people outside our immediate community. When we help others we are also following his teaching to love the Lord our God with all our heart, understanding and strength. This hymn based on Matthew 25:37-39 reminds us of this:

When I needed a neighbour,

Were you there, were you there?

When I needed a neighbour, were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter,

Were you there?


I was hungry and thirsty,

Were you there, were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter,

Were you there?


Wherever you travel,

I'll be there, I'll be there.

Wherever you travel, I'll be there.

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter,

I'll be there.

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