“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?’” – Luke 10:25-29
Following the Memorial Service for Senator John McCain, a clip showing former President George W. Bush slipping First Lady Michelle Obama a piece of candy began to go viral on social media. During a time when political, social, and ideological divisions seem to be growing, this moment illustrated a truth – that of the basic humanity in one another no matter our political affiliation or other identities. After all, don’t we all enjoy a piece of candy sometimes?
Challenges arise from divisions as we are often drawn into silos within our communities that primarily engage people who are similar to us. The silos can be comfortable spaces where we aren’t challenged to think deeply or question why we think or act a certain way. But the concern is that, in so doing, we miss much of our calling to be a part of the world God created.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus crossed many roads to listen deeply and reconcile people to community. He walked across the road and reached out to those considered unworthy – tax collectors, widows, orphans, and the diseased. He saw their full humanity – who it is that God created them to be. Calling us to love God, Jesus also commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We are called to create space to hear the fullness of our neighbors’ experience and to share ours – including stories that reveal our world’s brokenness. In that holy space, God’s Spirit can connect us and guide us to a place of healing to live in community as children of God. It can be as sweet as sharing a piece of candy.
Prayer: God of Love, guide us and give us courage to cross the road to meet you in our neighbor. May Your Spirit break down our silos and weave us into the community you call us to be. Amen.
Read or download the full devotion from Servant Stories at https://thelda.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Servant-Stories-November-Lewis.pdf
Servant Stories: Doing Justice, Loving Mercy, Walking Humbly with God is a booklet of 12 devotions designed for groups, committees, or individual use. Download it at https://thelda.org/resources/#devotions.
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