Journey to the Cross
Friday, February 19
Carol Menick, member of RPC since 2013
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. - Matthew 22:39
Jesus' birth, life, and death fulfilled God's plan to teach humankind how to live and to prepare for eternal life. Throughout his life on earth, Jesus, in experience and in parables, commanded people to love their neighbors. This seemingly simple order is as relevant today as it was in Jesus' time.
A simple concept can be difficult to follow in a world in which our neighbors come and go and change often. Moves, job changes, and new activities result in associations with people who are different from us. As people relocate throughout the world, we find ourselves with people whose appearance, language, and religion are foreign to us. Within our own families and communities, there are people whose lifestyles and behaviors are hard to understand.
Perhaps Jesus did not want us to understand, analyze, and judge others. Maybe we need to ask ourselves what we would be like if we had been born to different parents or in a different country. Are we lucky to have the backgrounds and benefits many of us have? Is there room for improvement in our own lives and characters? Jesus visited and dined with what were considered to be undesirable people, resulting often in transformed lives. We too can keep an open mind, be a good example for others, and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Heavenly Father, Help us put aside our fears and prejudices and be more accepting and loving of our neighbors, making our lives a reflection of Jesus' teaching. Amen