Who is My Neighbor?

 

TURKEY-SYRIA-UNREST-REFUGEES
A Syrian refugee family from Aleppo, stay under a shelter during a rainy day on March 8, 2014, at Uskudar in Istanbul. More than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria’s brutal war since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC

Two thousand years have passed and we still want qualifiers on love. Who is my neighbor, Lord? We want to be able to pick and choose who is worthy of our love.  Is it the ones that look like me? The ones that believe like me? Speak the same language that I speak? We justify our xenophobia in a thousand different ways. Because radical love is utterly terrifying. To choose to see the preciousness of someone else’s soul is  hard and holy thing. To choose to look into the weary eyes and see Imago Dei reflected back to you. How can we stand it.  Yet, as Christ followers we are called to it. This wild, holy, boundless love. This upside down kingdom where the last are first and the least are greatest.  Here there are no lines of division. Everyone is loved and worthy of love.

Fear is a love killer. It throws up walls. And draws lines of division. It causes us to only see what makes us different instead of all that makes us exactly the same.  It causes us to turn away from those in desperate need. And we forget how much we are loved. We forget TO love.

Right now, there are millions of refugees that are in need of help and hope and love. Will we hide behind our safety nets and hold back our mercy? Or will we choose the hard path of radical love. Love that knows no boundaries. Love that walks besides the broken and beaten and enslaved  and leads the way to freedom.  Love that sees Jesus in the face of our fellow man.

Mathew 25:35-40    35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

 

Choose Love, my friends.

 

 

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