I'm aware that we long for warm summer sun on winter days, and look forward to a holiday. But the summer season marks an end to one academic year and the beginning of another, and with that comes many changes. Maybe you're moving house or changing job, or graduating and starting your first 'proper' job. If you're feeling settled and happy, look out for those who are feeling unsettled, or who look like they're new and could do with a friend.
"5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites – everyone whose heart God had moved – prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings."
As the people returned home to Jerusalem, their neighbours blessed them and helped them on their way. Think about the time you started somewhere new - at work or at church or in a shared house - and how you felt. Who helped you settle in? What did they do to help? What could they have done to be more helpful? Perhaps as the summer turns to autumn (sorry, it's true - I saw yellow leaves on trees this morning!) we can look out for opportunities to bless our neighbours and colleagues and help them on their way - to leave well if they're leaving or to settle in quickly if they're arriving - whether that's people who live on our street or colleagues at work. And at church too, rather than just smiling at those we don't know, make a new friend!