But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
~ Luke 10:29
It amazes me with the advancements of technology, and how we are able to share so much information with one another, that we still must ask, "Who is our neighbor?"
I always remind folks that when God first made the earth, God didn't spend a day creating lines that would divide us from one another. No, God looked at it all and simply pronounced it as being "good."
Unfortunately, humanity has taken that role upon itself!
Deciding who may live within our community is something I know far too much of. Even within faith communities there are both hidden and obvious boundaries, and each of us know the feeling that is involved if the community is accepting or rejecting.
We learn at an early age we learn how to choose who we want on our team, and who we don't.
From the moment we take our first breath we are part of a family. A group of people that you will forever be recognized as a part of.
I always find it funny when the the people during Jesus' time find themselves asking, "so who is my neighbor?"
I got news for us all. We ALL are!
Our neighbors are all around us, and by the way, most of the time, they are not, don't look like, or act like us!
It is painful for God when we don't recognize that we ALL are God's creation. As many of us were taught John 3:16 at an early age, "For God so loved the world that God sent God's only Son so that ALL might be saved."
I love that there was not an addendum of clarification stating what ALL means. As I often remind people, not only will heaven be marvelous, but it's going to shock some people when they see who is there!
Think of all the people Jesus spent time with that were rejected, including himself.
Is there someone that you have excluded? Or have you been meant to feel unwelcomed? Residents of planet earth, guess what? You are all neighbors!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, I'm so glad to know that You love each of us. Help me to share that same love for my neighbor. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.