Last Sunday in KidzLive, I preached a message to our kids about what it means to love our neighbors. I used my good friend and GSF Youth Pastor Jonathan Fulgencio in a sketch to illustrate a point. I showed the kids what it meant to be a bad neighbor. I played my music way too loud. I mowed the lawn at 1:00 a.m. I threw a party all hours of the night and even littered on his lawn. I asked the kids if I was being kind to my neighbor and they gave a resounding “NO!” Jesus told his followers in Matthew 22 that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. He went on to say that the second is like it: we shall love our neighbor as ourselves.
What’s interesting is that the Hebrew word for neighbor is Rea. This can mean the person who lives next door. It can mean a friend. It can even mean an opponent. Love our opponent? It seems absurd in our culture. But Jesus doesn’t want us to just like people who are like us.
Different colored skin. Different religion. Different political affiliation.
None of these should stand in the way of our objective. We have our orders. We are simply to love our neighbors as ourselves. Are you showing love to yours?