Questioned about what the greatest commandment was Jesus, quoted the Leviticus 6:5 and immediately followed up with these words from Leviticus 19:8, “The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”” (Mark 12:31, NLT) We must love our neighbors if we are going to love God! The will, the law of God, is summed up simply, Love God and Love Your Neighbor.
Of course the people we work with, and the people need our help like the traveler in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan are our neighbors. However, our neighbor is also well, literally our neighbor right next door. Studies are telling us that we don’t know the people who eat, play, sleep, live right next door to us, behind us, or across the street from us.
We have been blessed over the years and continue to be blessed with wonderful neighbors. When I think back upon the conversations, laughter and stories through the years, it’s great. One neighbor, an old man, was a vegetarian that loved to hunt. Go figure! His stories were incredible. Once he came over at just the right time and said the right words that lifted my spirits. I was tired and been traveling way too much. He was working on his front lawn and walked across the street just to encourage me. We differed on politics, sports, and religion but we respected one another a lot.
Loving God means we love our neighbor and think about what that means when we love the person right next door to us. Loving our neighbor is a credible witness that we love God. “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35, NLT
Just thinking tonight about what would Jesus do in my neighborhood.