Posted by David Gungor on 22 February 2017

NEIGHBOR

Scripture: MRK.12:28-31

“When I see you in the stranger, I’m no longer a slave.” 

The Greatest Commandment is found in Mark 12:28-31.

Who is your neighbor? Who are the different? The strange?

Karl Barth, the brilliant Swiss theologian who died in the 1960’s, wrote, “The strange, the different, the unintelligible, the subjective aspect of my neighbor, is the garment in which the one thing meets me [grace]. We discover respect for one another, not on this ground or that, [BUT] counter to every ground, simply because we are bidden to look at the one thing, which is grace. The claim my neighbor makes on me, on my patience, on my attention, on my consideration, on my love, is the claim on the one thing [grace].”

The neighbor that Jesus talked about was anybody who is around us.  They are the people we like, and the people we don't like.  They are people who could have a different cultural upbringing, race or ethnicity, a different language, or a different belief system.

We fear those we don’t know and so we often avoid them. How much kinder we all would be if we could see that truly, we are more alike than we are different. If we take the time to listen to the stories of our neighbors, to understand who they are and how they became who they are, we can offer a truer compassion and love, in the way of Jesus.

Loving our neighbors is not treating those less fortunate than us as charity cases, but as wounded healers that we can learn from. Those who have experienced pain and loss are often the ones who can teach us the most about life. When we open our eyes and see the stranger, we see Jesus.

“We refuse to be our brothers enemy, we will stand for all mankind.”

 

 

 

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