February 13th 2013
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10: 27
What I love about this command to love God and neighbor is the drama that precedes and follows this statement. A religious scholar is trying to debate with Jesus to argue about how a person can gain eternal life. To some this might seem surprising; but Jesus isnt interested in abstract conversations about the next world. Jesus appeals to the religious scholars knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures and asks him to answer his own question, which he does correctly.
Does that settle it? Not so fast. Scholars seldom want to settle on an answer that is so clear and practical especially from an untrained, upstart, itinerant preacher. He asks Jesus, Who is my neighbor? Rather than sharing a propositional statement, Jesus tells the compelling story of the Good Samaritan. He paints a living picture of what it means to love ones neighbor. And by using the Samaritan as a hero, Jesus reminds the listener that people who truly love neighbors are people who are willing to love across lines of race, ethnicity, and social class. (The Promise Effect, pg. 126)
We encourage you to open your door and look to the left, to the right and across the street and see how you can show your neighbor the love of Jesus. What small acts of love can you do for your neighbor? Share with us how you show love to your neighbor! Then, tell us ways you have taken the love of Jesus from your neighborhood to the greater community.
Teach me, Lord, to learn what it means to be other-centered. Remind me that my neighbor is of utmost importance to you.