Focal Passage: Luke 9:51-13:21
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” For over three decades Fred Rogers opened his show for children with these words. He sought to broaden children’s view of how we work together.
A neighbor was more than just the person next door.
The old saying was that any two people were separated by six people. Last November because of the social networks, they now say that only 4.74 people separate any two people in the world.
Maybe the world is shrinking. So, in this day of Internet and other means, who is my neighbor? If I am to love my neighbor as both the Old and New Testaments teach, who is it?
It seems to be human nature to seek to find ways of not doing something. This is not always bad. We seek to “work smarter, not harder.”
We have invented machines to do many of the tasks we used to do by hand. My computer’s spell-check saves me from constantly going to the dictionary.
However, sometimes we seek to find ways out of doing things we should. God tells us to love our neighbor.
So, we try to narrow down the field. Even in Jesus’ day we see this happening. In this encounter the lawyer is basically saying, “Define neighbor.”
He, like us, was missing the true intent of what God was saying.
Being told to love my neighbor was not a limiting statement.
It was not based on the other person. It was an instruction to me. I am to love those I come in contact with.
As Mr. Rogers asked the children to be his neighbor, we are to seek out others to be a part of our neighborhood.
We are to be the good neighbor.
How do we do this? In the parable Jesus told, He emphasized having compassion on those who have needs.
We need to step outside our comfort zone and invite others in. But beware, when we do this we must accept the opportunities God presents to us.