Love Thy Neighbor
Folks complicate things. Seems God’s simplest commands get muddled. Neglect not the gathering of the saints. Give your first fruits to the Lord. Love thy neighbor.
But in our defense, we come from a long line of complicators. “Who is my neighbor,” the lawyer asked. (See that, attorneys have been askin’ trick questions for centuries…) To which Jesus gave a straightforward story about a man walking from Jerusalem to Jericho who was accosted by robbers. Do you remember who cared for him? Was it the Christian or the Samaritan?
At the risk of being called sacrilegious (I’ve been called worse, honey…) I’d like to compose my own parable.
There once was a church where townsfolks had been gathering for generations. Praise and prayers were regularly raised.
“We love You, Father!”
“I surrender all…”
“Thy will and Thy way be done, O Lord.”
The congregation well-represented the small, country community. Young and old. Black and white. Smart and not so much. Slim and plump. But over the years, the plumps grew in number and size. Much like the rest of the country, the church girth was growing, as were the weekly prayer requests for healing of debilitating diseases. Moe Marks’ heart troubles. Trudy Will’s diabetes. Agnes Melody’s leg inflammation and foot problems.
Like many small churches, the flock gathers weekly in the Fellowship Hall after Sunday service for pastries and coffee, a long-standing sacrament – I mean tradition. But one day someone slid a fruit plate amidst the cookies and pies. Then a platter of veggies and red pepper hummus was secretly snuck into the buffet.
I ask you brothers and sisters, who loved his neighbors?