This post is part of JusJoJan. The word for the day is “neighbor.”
I immediately thought of the Good Samaritan. When Jesus was asked what the greatest law was, He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.”(Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
When asked who his neighbour was, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. A man was attacked by robbers, beaten up and left for dead. Religious people walked by and pretended not to see. The man who finally helped him, the Samaritan, was not of his culture and belonged to a despised group of people. Nevertheless, he rendered first aid and organised transport to a place of recovery and rest. He paid for the man’s stay (after all, the robbers had taken all he had.)
That is the standard Jesus has set for us. Of course, we won’t all be called on to spend our money for a stranger’s hospital stay, but we might be. The Samaritan put aside his own agenda and spent time to help a person in distress. We are called to love others as we love ourselves. We can only do this one person at a time. Love equals time. We might not be called on to do the big things but we can all do the little things. We can take time to acknowledge the people who cross our path, to greet them and treat them as valuable, regardless of who they are, what they’ve done, their culture, religion or language. We can take time to help somebody who asks for our help or whom we see needs help.
The Bishop in Les Miserables inspires me with his forgiving attitude to an ex-con and his kindness to a person in need. I’ll be quite honest, I shall probably never attain such an unselfish attitude but, by God’s grace, and by keeping the example of the Good Samaritan in the forefront of my mind, I can learn to love my neighbour more and more each day.
Lord Jesus, You set very high standards. Please incline my heart to be able to love my neighbour as You commanded. Amen.