July 17, 2009

Who Is My Neighbor?

Luke 10:25-37

“A Samaritan … came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.”
Luke 10:33


“Kindness” is one of the first “feeling” words we learn as children.

It may seem like a simple word, and yet the Bible doesn’t hesitate to apply this word to God himself. The apostle Paul wrote that the riches of God’s grace have been “expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). Similarly, through the prophet Isaiah God announced, “With everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:8).

Because kindness is part of God’s loving character, it is a quality that God’s Spirit wants to grow in us. (See again Galatians 5:22-23.)

Jesus once told a parable to explain whom we should consider as our “neighbor.” In the story, two respected and deeply religious men, a priest and a Levite, failed to help a person who had been beaten, robbed, and left for dead at the roadside. But a third person, a Samaritan (who would have been despised as an enemy), stopped and tended to the man’s needs.

Jesus’ message is clear. Anyone, even someone we might despise as an enemy, is our neighbor, someone we should care about, someone we should love.

Today there is someone who needs your care and kindness. Whom might that person be? Take time to show that person the concern and mercy of your Lord.

God, our Father, open our eyes to the needs around us. Fill us with mercy, compassion, and kindness so that we may be neighbors even to people we haven’t liked. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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