Loving Your Neighbour During the Pandemic

Maryka Groenewald
Maryka Groenewald

Suddenly, following God’s commandment to “love your neighbour as you love yourself” presents all sorts of new challenges. But Maryka Groenewald, WA state director of the Australian Christians party, believes this moment calls for creativity and compassion, and she’s seeing it all around her.

Talking to Neil Johnson on Vision’s 20Twenty program, Groenewald said neighbourhood watches in her have joined a project which spread out from the UK called #ViralKindness. They’re printing postcards to put in mailboxes, as an easy way to reach out with help and companionship to people in isolation.

Offering someone practical assistance, like purchasing urgent supplies, or even just a phone call, is a great way to make a difference during Australia’s lockdown. But through your actions, you’re also living out the Gospel message. “I think this is really an opportunity for Christians to show what we are here to be,” she said.

Groenewald also pointed out that our faith means we can act as a calming influence on people who are feeling fearful. Her own neighbour has thanked her for her steady support, and feels much safer thanks to her advice.

It’s so nice to have people who can put things into perspective.

She also reminded us of how important churches are for keeping us connected. This is a time where many people will be more eager than ever to tune in to a church stream. “It’s not about rocking up with a Bible or anything like that. It’s just seeing a tangible expression of Christ’s love, which is just as important.”

In trying times, we’ve often seen people uniting in prayer, and right now prayer is exactly what we all need. Groenewald’s prayer group is still meeting via WhatsApp, and almost daily there are new innovations arising that are keeping the body of Christ together.

“There were churches rallying and praying about the bushfires,” she said. “There were people rallying and praying about the last election. And this is just another opportunity to get together.”

“If we can just keep encouraging people to pray, and not retreat, that is the best and most important thing we can do. And we just pray over our suburbs, pray over our nation. At the end of the day, it’s all in God’s hands, which is the perfect situation we can be in to be honest.”

For more info about the Australian Christians party, visit their website.

Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times and more interviews.

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