Living the Jesus Creed: Loving God. Loving Others.
Be a Neighbor
This Lent, we are emphasizing the commandments to love God and love our neighbor. In Luke chapter 10, we meet a lawyer who wanted to justify himself. He wanted to feel like his level of commitment was valid; he thought it was the only way to be righteous and acceptable before God. He thought it was necessary to set parameters about who he had to love and who he didn’t have to love. That prompted him to ask the question of Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”
From that question, Jesus launches into the most famous story of his ministry, a story of a despised outsider who cares for a beaten-up, half-dead stranger he meets on the road to Jericho after two pious religious leaders passed him by without stopping. Jesus inverts the question and asks the lawyer, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who feel into the hands of robbers?” This is an extraordinary challenge to the lawyer, and to us. There is no one who is not our neighbor; God calls us to show mercy to every person we encounter, and, in showing them mercy, we are the neighbor they need.
On Wednesday we began the season of Lent. "Lent" is derived from an Old English word that refers to the lengthening of days during the spring season. In the life of the Church, Lent is an invitation to lengthen our reach, asking God to take a greater place in our lives as we anticipate the Easter celebration that will mark the end of the season.
As we have in years past, we plan to "reach" together during this season. Small groups have been organized and books have been purchased in the hopes that you will join us in this reach. We will be reading "40 Days Living the Jesus Creed" by Scot McKnight. It's a brief daily devotional reading that I believe will have great impact on our life personally and corporately. The sermon series will coincide with these studies.