Who Is My Neighbor?

I’ve been thinking about our country’s response to the #Zimmerman verdict.  The senseless loss of #TravonMartin has stirred up a larger problem that has been ignored.  We are still unjustly racist, after all these years.

Preaching on the Good Samaritan this week, reminded me that we need to be asking ourselves the question, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus’ answer to the question posed by the lawyer was broad, inclusive, and beyond boundaries.  ALL of God’s creatures are our neighbors.  We are not given the choice to segregate our neighbors based on who we like, or who is like us.  As followers of Jesus, we have a standard of “ALL.”

The other point Jesus makes is that the one who follows God is the one who is merciful.  When we pass on by the hurting and those treated as “less than” us, we are not living out our faith.  We are, instead, living as “Virtual Christians,” who talk a good talk, but don’t put their feet on the same road.  But when we act out in mercy with compassion for the hurting, then we are a part of God’s kingdom.  Then we are making heaven come to earth.

So it looks like we have work to do.  A whole group of our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, continue to live in fear for their lives, and the lives of their children.  It is time for this to stop.  It will end when each of us love radically, relationally, and sacrificially.  It will end when we march against unfair judgments, or, it you think otherwise, unfair laws.  It will end when we stand up as real people of faith, and say, “No more!”  Loving God means loving our neighbor.

Trayvon Martin, and his family and community, are our neighbors.  Zimmerman too, and the Jury and the Judge…all are our neighbors.

We will find our way through to love.  Not without pain or consequence, but with strength and courage.  We have things to change…  Are you ready to join the life of loving ALL?

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