Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When Jesus was asked what the most important thing for us to do was, he said we should love God, love ourselves and love our neighbor? But who is our neighbor?
I remember my first day of kindergarten, I was pretty scared. I had never been to school before and I didn’t know what it would be like. When I got to the classroom, the teacher came to me and introduced herself. She told me her name and asked what my name was. After that she showed me around the classroom and told me some of the things we would be doing. She was so nice and before long I was feeling a lot better about being in school. I no longer felt afraid.
Back in the times of the bible, some people were afraid when they met Jesus. Many did not know for sure what to think of him. Some had heard stories that Jesus was a powerful person. Some had heard that Jesus was a great teacher. Some had heard Jesus was the son of God. And all of those stories were true!
When Jesus met with people, he helped many with their fears and showed kindness. He spent time with people and shared stories about the kingdom of heaven. He ate meals with people, visited homes, and welcomed people to follow him. He healed people that were hurting and loved everyone in the world. He made everyone feel like he was their neighbor and that they were his neighbor.
Jesus is still welcoming us all to share in his love for us and for everyone in the world!
My kindergarten teacher is my neighbor. She didn’t live next door to my house, but she was someone I shared the world with. She was someone that was welcoming and kind and I wanted to be welcoming and kind to her. She was my neighbor and I was her neighbor. Not all neighbors are teachers. We can find neighbors in school, at the store, on our street, and even in our homes. Like Jesus, we can find neighbors everywhere! The whole world is our neighborhood! That makes everyone our neighbors!
Lord we thank you for our family, our friends, and for all of our neighbors! Help us to be like Jesus and be a good neighbor to everyone in our world and to treat all neighbors with love and kindness! Help us love others the way you love us! Amen.