Blog Post #9: Love Your Neighbor

By Marylou Wilkinson

May 14, 2018

Love Your Neighbor by Rev. Marylou Wilkinson – 3/15/17

All over the world our species is suffering from deep wounds.  Many people hurt. They are fearful of the future, depressed, and struggle with loneliness and despair.  We commonly share brokenness and I dare say none are whole.

In light of all the problems in the world, Jesus teaches us “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” James 2:8-9 (NKJV).

In Luke 10:29-37, we learn that our neighbor is everyone that crosses our path.  Regardless of religion, social class, color of skin, nationality, sexuality, all of humankind is “our neighbor” and this is whom we should love. This model of loving was exemplified by Jesus when He came to live among us.  He loved, divinely, all people and He did it without showing partiality. 

Jesus showed love, grace, and mercy to thousands. He left a legacy of love for all of us to continue with our neighbors. To Him it did not, and does not; matter if you are a model citizen or not.  You are worthy of His love and He came to Earth to give it to you, if you want it. 

 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).  It starts with a love relationship with God.  Knowing God’s love for you will help you to love yourself despite your brokenness. Then with the fullness of God’s love, even in your brokenness, you can pour out His love for others.

Not to be cliché but the song “What the World Needs Now is Love”, reverberates in my heart and soul as I ponder this command (Burt Bacharach & Hal David, 1965.) We cannot fix the whole world but we all can do our part to love others better.  There is so much evil in the world today that the only way to counter it is by showing God’s love.  We can be positive world changers one life at a time if we choose to love and not hate.

Loving well requires sacrifice. Jesus knew this very well.  He willing lay on the cross, stretched out his arms, and permitted the Romans to nail his body to it. He gave His life for all.  1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

I pray we extend grace when we’d rather give criticisms and we do it without partiality. Our neighbors, who are the recipients of God’s love through the church, will receive and be blessed.  And…the cross will continue to stand as a symbol of love for all. 

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