"Love your neighbor as yourself" ~ Matthew 22:38
Today it seems more than ever the question of "who" my neighbor is tends to be questionable. Our ability to pick and choose those who we claim to be like ourselves can sometimes leave us segregated and at odds.
When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29 - 37) to answer the question "Who is my neighbor?" he ends by asking: "Which ... do you think, proved himself a neighbor to the man who fell into the bandits' hands?"
The neighbor, Jesus makes clear, is not the poor man laying on the side of the street, stripped, beaten, and half dead, but the Samaritan who crossed the road, "bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them ... lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him."
No, his neighbor was the man who crossed the road!
Years ago Thomas Merton when getting off a bus in Louisville, Kentucky looked around and realized he loved every person that he saw. He realized that they were not strangers on the street, but yet, were his brothers and sisters, AND, he loved each and every one!
How different would our lives be if we recognized that relationship in every person we met?
I have to admit, some people I know would be challenging! (Including myself!) However, I must remind myself that God loves each person as much as God loves me.
YOU are MY neighbor, I am YOURS, and YOU are LOVED!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.