Loving our neighbors as ourselves
Last updated 6/14/2007 at Noon
Wow! It’s always a privilege to be a part of Jesus’ people here in Fallbrook! As God’s people we can never forget our call to love all of our neighbors here in the name of Christ.
I love how Kay Kupka describes her own honest response to this call of Jesus. She says:
“I’ve been thinking about the story of the Good Samaritan and how Jesus uses it to teach us about loving our neighbor. I don’t know about your neighborhood, but in mine folks aren’t very friendly. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. Everyone waves and smiles, but I really don’t know them. Just what does Jesus expect from me? Jesus says, ‘I want you to love your neighbor as yourself.’ When I think about it a little more, phrases like walk the second mile, turn the other cheek, and give the coat off your back, come to mind. Then there’s care for the widows, feed the hungry, visit the sick and the lonely and the thing about forgiving! Seventy times seven! And Jesus says, ‘love your neighbor as yourself!’
“I treat myself pretty good! I don’t remember being really hungry and I don’t need anyone’s charity. I buy what I want – sometimes when I don’t even want it that badly! I rarely even think about going without what I need, because I don’t! I have loving family and many friends. I am fortunate indeed! And Jesus says to me, ‘I want you to love your neighbor as yourself. When you do, you love me!’ I’ve been thinking about the story of the Good Samaritan and how Jesus uses it to teach us about loving our neighbor. I feel badly, as I know I can do a better job! Look how good I am to me! Forgive me, oh Lord, for not loving others as you have loved me and for being so self-centered that I don’t even see the needs in others. Help me to find ways to love my neighbor as much as I do myself today!”
I thought of this challenge as I read this “Franciscan Benediction” in a new book on prayer by Philip Yancey:
“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so you may work for justice, freedom and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so you can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor. Amen.” (p105)