In Luke 10, “Who is my neighbor?” was the question of a man trying to “get out of” something. Out of responsibility, out of being burdened, out of caring for too many or too much.
In Redmond WA that same question could change the way you and I think about our entire lives.
Christians are meant to ask that question as a way to get “into” something. A way to get into what it means to love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. A Way to get into the life giving reality of being, as the Apostle Paul suggests in almost the entire New Testament, IN Christ.
Who is my neighbor? Is a doorway into living for/with/by/in/through Jesus.
We are probably all at different places with that question. Some of us need to start small, we need to find those people who are literally our neighbors, those living right around us, and go and learn their names, figure out what is going on with them, build a relationship with them, bring them cookies; or whatever. Some of us know our neighbors and we need to ask that question in with Jesus’ answer in mind. Jesus’ answer (the story of the good Samaritan) is meant to show us that our responsibility to our neighbors doesn’t stop with racial boundaries or economic boundaries, it doesn’t stop when someone is a stranger, or foreigner, or alien, it doesn’t have anything to do with your nationality or our religion or our worship practices. In Jesus’ definition of neighbor, all creations of God belong to us as neighbors. Moreover, according to his him, the chief defining characteristic of one who is a neighbor is mercy.
Mercy is a pretty heavy thing. If you’re like me you don’t use (or live) that word every day.
Who have you been merciful to lately? Who ought you show mercy to?
May your life be full of neighbors, full of mercy.
May our church community be full of neighbors, full of mercy.