"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
Romans 13:10 ESV
Janice and I had been in our new home for only a few minutes when our neighbor across the street introduced himself. Within a few minutes, we learned Cal was widowed, owned an insurance business, and loved to talk. Over the years, we also learned he had a heart of gold. He knew a lot about home maintenance and was generous in sharing his knowledge and loaning any project tools. Every visit meant a cup of coffee and a long conversation. Cal had been turned off by some church action in his past and no longer attended or even professed to follow Christ, but he embodied Christ’s agape love in his actions. When Cal passed several years ago, our neighborhood felt the void of his absence.
Christ when questioned which Commandment of the Law was greatest answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37, 39). Who is our neighbor? Well, that is a question worthy of a sermon, but the short answer is everyone! But today, let's focus on those who are closest to us. Those whom we come into contact with every day. Those people who may have driven over our lawns, backed into our mailboxes, and whose trees have fallen into our yards. (All things of which I have been an offender.) Or the seemingly inept person at Dunkin' who gets our order wrong. How do we interact in our everyday contact with our neighbors? Are we understanding? Do we exhibit patience? Through our actions, can they see the agape love of Christ in us?
God, we give you thanks for the abundant love you show us. In our interactions today, may we offer at least as much love to our neighbors as we have for ourselves. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.