By Pastor Micah Gilmore
I loved watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood growing up. Every episode he’d let me know he wanted to be my neighbor--through song! It was awesome! He had this attitude about him that was warm and welcoming as he donned his comfy cardigan and laced up his house shoes.
Did you know when Jesus talked about loving our neighbors, there were people trying to figure out who qualified as a neighbor? In fact, in Luke 10, verse 29, an expert in the law asks him that exact question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answers the question through the very familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. If you get the chance, read through it because I think the way Jesus ends is sometimes glossed over. Yes, Jesus uses the Samaritan, a person that would be despised by the Jews due to the cultural history, but what I find just as fascinating is the question that Jesus ends with. Jesus asks in verse 36, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” In other words, maybe the question isn’t, “who is my neighbor?” the real question is, “Are you willing to be a neighbor? Regardless of who it is?” Because in this story, we see an example of what it looks like to be a neighbor. One of the things I’ve realized that keeps us from being neighbors is assumptions. Are there people around you (whether it’s family, at work, in your neighborhood, in class, even at church) that you are making assumptions about that lead to drawing negative conclusions and ultimately keep you from neighboring? What if we made the effort to actually get over these assumptions, befriended these people, and realized that they weren’t like what we assumed? If I gave you the opportunity to practice this, would you take it? Because I’m giving you one! November 22nd is our Thanksgiving Celebration where we invite the families of Don Julian Elementary School to share a Thanksgiving meal with us. I want to invite you to come, sit at a table, eat, and spend time with the families. Contact me, Pastor Victor, or Sandy Tanaka about it. Come be a neighbor to our neighbors. I know you may have assumptions. Get rid of them. Won’t you be a neighbor?