Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.' Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise. ”Luke 10:25-37
Love Your Neighbor
The words sting and violence last
forever we are divided people
we were made to love the stranger
and make friends with difference.
We lock out those who frighten us
whose language and customs disquiet
they too were made in the divine image
we turn them away we turn away God.
Little ones seek out the Creator's spark
they reach for the light in other eyes
we teach them by example what to fear
and keep them from seeing a new way.
May we become like little ones
seeking Divinity in the least comforting people
in our neighbors who we have excluded
simply because we do not understand them.
We were fashioned in our mothers' wombs
to love beyond restriction and race
to love beyond our cultural 's high fences
love brought from the other side of the world.
Let us make room at our tables
in our schools, our worship and our homes
for differently abled, differently made
and we will find the love we so anxiously crave.