I am not just talking about the McCoy’s, the Yoder’s or the Yunker’s; but who really is your neighbor?
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Is it someone who looks like you? Acts like you? Goes to your church?
Is your neighbor Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic?
Do they speak the same language? Do they have the same ethnic background?
What if they are Hindu? Or, Muslim? Are they still your neighbor?
Is your neighbor down the street? In your county? City? Even in your country?
Is your neighbor hungry, thirsty? In need of clothes?
Does your neighbor have tattoos? Does your neighbor smoke? Drink? Are they a drug addict?
What if they have committed a crime? Is your neighbor in prison?
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Is your neighbor your friend? Or your enemy?
Is your neighbor democrat or republican?
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Maybe, just maybe, its time we take these meanings to heart. Can we take a stand and decide to live and love our neighbors?
Luke 10: 29, 36-37
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
I am going to do this. I am going to choose to be kind, love, bless and pray for my enemies. I am going to choose to be united. I can still have my beliefs, my convictions and I can choose to love my neighbor.
Will anyone, anyone, join me? Anyone?