Tonight’s the 26th annual National Night Out, and my family and I have blocked off the night for months. We were recently invited to an important dinner. I checked my schedule and realized it conflicted with NNO, so we’re rescheduling.
If you’re a Christian and still wondering at the eleventh hour why you should be a part of tonight’s NNO event, here’s a few reasons why:
- Meet your neighbors: Do you find it hard to meet your neighbors? Are you an introvert and find it difficult striking up conversations with strangers? Then tonight’s a great night for you! This is a built in opportunity for people of various stripes to gather around food and music to simply meet one another. While I hesitate suggesting that tonight’s event promotes genuine and lasting unity, its purpose is to show a vested interest in the community. So, if you want to break the ice and meet your neighbors in a non-threatening setting, you should be at tonight’s NNO.
- Fight crime: While one night in the year won’t do much to stop crime, Christians, more than anyone, should care most about stopping crime of all sorts in their neighborhoods, primarily because God hates crime (one needs go no further than the fifth through tenth commandments for justification). So, if you hate crime (again, primarily because God does because of it’s rootedness in rebellion) then you should be at tonight’s NNO.
- Be salt and light: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his disciples they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Fundamental to this understanding is this simple yet often elusive fact: Christians must be rubbing shoulders with people who don’t know Jesus in order for these qualities of salt and light to take effect. So, if you want to be salt and light in your neighborhood (again, going to tonight’s NNO won’t make you salt and light! If you’re a Christian, you already are salt and light), you need to be at tonight’s NNO.
- Because of the gospel: Underlying the above reasons (just to name a few) is this: because of the gospel. Ultimately, meeting your neighbors won’t create genuine and lasting community or prevent crime. Only the gospel, whereby Christ reconciles rebels to himself through his atoning sacrifice on the cross, provides true and lasting hope for changed communities. So, if you love the gospel, you need to be at tonight’s NNO.
If you’re able, cancel your plans and get out in your neighborhood tonight to meet your neighbors, fight crime and and be salt and light—all because of the gospel.