A core message of Jesus might be summed up in the words, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is both a challenge and opportunity for us. These simple words have proven marvelously complex to live. We begin to ask: Who is my neighbor? What the best way to love him or her? How do we do this in a world where conflict, violence and enmity abound? These words – Love your neighbor – actually come from the book of Leviticus (Leviticus 19:18), in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus quotes them. The Apostle Paul quotes them often too (Romans 13:8-10). It was a defining quality of the early Christians. We remember that the root of the word “religion” comes from a Latin term, to bind together. Here is where our compassion binds us to God and each other and joins us to the lives of our neighbors. We know some neighbors are easier to love than others. In a world where hatred and violence seem to erupt so quickly and easily, we need to hear again this important reminder, to love your neighbor as yourself. As one author said, it may be what saves the human race. We’ll worship this Sunday, drawing our strength from God who makes it possible for us to love our neighbors! See you there.

Pastor Dave Summers

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