“Who is my neighbor?” is a question that I’ve often thought of in a sense of who do I have an obligation too? Who do I need to be neighborly too? Asking the question this way puts me in the sense of being active. There is something I must do to be neighborly. The reading today struck me in a new way when I heard Jesus say, “so which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among thieves?” (Luke 10:36). It’s the first time I realized he asked the question from the perspective of the man who needed a neighbor.
Recently, dealing with all the issues included in having the Covid virus, I found myself much like the man in this story who was helpless and in need of a neighbor. We were blessed to have folks call and check in, offer prayer, and some even brought food to our family and even gave us a care package. In the grand scheme of things we probably would have made it through without extra attention, but the neighborly work of those who came to our aide really helped us and blessed us in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
As I reflect on this passage this morning, I can’t help but be struck that the point of what Jesus was saying was that we are to be neighbors to those who need one. As I look around my world, there are lots of folks on my street, in my community and beyond that need a neighbor. It’s the folks who are dealing with this virus and need a hot meal. It’s the friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one. It’s the couple going through a divorce. It’s the teenager struggling to do homework while in quarantine. What it looks like to be a neighbor in each situation will be different. I’m not the brightest when it comes on how to demonstrate love and hospitality to others in some situations, but by God’s grace I’m pressing forward to see who he might put in my path today that needs a neighbor.
Father, Thank you for helping me see a subtle aspect of this passage that I haven’t seen before. Thank you that it provoked my heart to look for those who need a neighbor today. Help me to truly love my neighbors and demonstrate your love and kindness to everyone I see today. In Jesus’ Name, amen.