January 16, 2020

“And who is my neighbor?” – Luke 10:29

Growing up during the 50s in a small town, I think everyone knew their neighbors!  It was a time when we spent more time getting to know our neighbors by welcoming them to the neighborhood with a cake or casserole or a batch of cookies!  I have fond memories of sitting on front porch swings listening to seniors tell me about their childhood, or the do’s and don’ts of life.  Also, grade school friends who lived on the same block were awesome neighbors.  Oh, and how many of us remember our “second moms” in our neighborhood?

As we became adults and moved out of our homes, I’m sure some of our “neighborhood kindness” was instilled in us.  We were now the ones welcoming the neighbors, organizing block parties, etc.

Now I will admit, not all of the neighbors I’ve had have been receptive of my good intentions, and I had a hard time understanding why they didn’t want to be “my neighbor,” my friend, and the recipient of my kindness.

When I became a Christian, I discovered that my neighbor was not just those who lived near me, but all the people in my life!  What??  You mean I’m to love the unlovable, that mean kid who made fun of me, my boss, my teachers?

The parable in Luke 10:25-37 teaches us the question, “Whose neighbor am I”?

Am I willing to be a neighbor to whomever the Lord places on my path?  And do I practice it by showing compassion and mercy?  I feel that faithfully practicing St. Luke’s motto of “Sharing God’s Love and Bringing Hope to the World” is a good start in being the best neighbor to all!

Prayer: Lord our God, open our eyes and help us to know whose neighbors we are to be, and give us the grace to reach out in mercy and love. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

– Rev. Connie Barnett, St. Luke’s Asbury Campus Pastor