Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our Neighbors

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 neighbour 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

Our Neighbors

Those who live rough on the streets
congregating in dark alleys, in deep doorways
they must be up to no good, they're troubled
not like us cossetted and comfortable.

We easily cling to the group we know
old friends, school chums and desireables
folks who will help us get ahead
and those who know our importance.

They must be damaged in they do not agree
do not live like us and share our values
they must be failures if not well endowed
God must be looking away from them.

We cannot see the love in their eyes
nor the hope they harbor despite everything
the world has crashed down around them
and yet they pray and hold each other up.

God give us the eyes to see love living rough
our neighbors who don't frequent our club
the ones from whom we can learn a new gift
who can show us how to draw near to you.

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