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Good Neighbors

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 NRSV

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

You may recognize those words from "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" the theme song from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

In the Ten Commandments, the first three discuss how we are to love and respect God; the remaining are about how we are to love and respect each other. Jesus, when asked the question by the Pharisees which commandment was the greatest, replied:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Mt. 22:37‭-‬40)

By neighbors, Jesus didn't mean the folks living on either side of us but the broader community–all those whom we come into contact with. All those unlike ourselves, loving despite all the things that can separate us. It is accepting and loving those that may be the polar opposite of ourselves and everything in between.

Paul states it more simply in today’s verse. He is not discounting our need to love God, but that our ability to love comes from God. When we don't love as God loves, we see the divisiveness and hatred in the world today.

Whether our inspiration comes from the message in Exodus, Matthew, Galatians, or Fred Rogers, may we, as children of our Heavenly Father, be good neighbors.

Won't you please, won't you please,

Please, won't you be my neighbor?

Loving Father, thank you for the love you continually show us. We confess we haven't loved you and others as we should. We have allowed labels and biases to separate us from one another. Forgive us; we pray. Help us tear down the fences of separation and embrace our neighbors with compassion, kindness, and love. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

Link to “Won’t You Be Mine?”

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