Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who is my neighbor?

One of the greatest questions ever posed I think and bearing similar weight to Am I my brother's keeper? And Jesus answered saying...and we receive the parable of the good Samaritan. 
So am I really responsible to look after other people? 
An interesting concept is found later in the bible in the book of John. Many of you are probably aware of some of the great love pick up lines in John's 3 books found almost at the end of the bible, but in all seriousness it more about the love affair between Christ and the Church. The Church that he gave His life for. He says we love Him because He first loved us. Earlier he states No man can love God and hate his brother. No man can love God whom he has not seen and love His brother whom he has seen. This leads me to believe two things. That the more we love God the more we come to love others as God loves them. Also that just as God's love is manifested in ways that are seen even though he is not, others love is manifested in the same way, however we can see them, so it takes less to have faith or confidence in this kind of love, if we are not prideful. 
The prideful person will not seek love manifested by another. They must have ulterior motives. Of coarse. I should have seen that coming. The problem stems from the ways that we perceive love. Someone sees it so very differently from someone else. However, how does God see our love? Is it not like a child who grubby and dirty comes in from the field with a handful of dandelions. They are our expression of love and that is how God sees it. Some would say that we mock God to bring Him weeds. Who are we to judge another persons heart? They may even say that it is to spite us or to hurt our feelings, but is that really the case? The problem is that to judge love me must pass judgement that is not ours. We must in a way hold back a form of forgiveness from this person that they desperately need, and in so doing we devalue the Atonement in our lives. This is a cause that if we do not love our brother, we cannot love God. We put a stop to how much of His love is available to us. We make a list with two sides; things that the Atonement can fix, and things that the Atonement cannot fix. How can we love a being who cannot understand us. If the Atonement were insufficient then we really have no chance in life. 
The Atonement is sufficient, but we must embrace it. We must look after those who "do not need looking after." We must love those who are unlovable, we must reach out those who are unreachable, and we will discover ourselves. 
The person who has pity on another remembers himself
Were we always so grand, and holy? No, and we still are not. We have a long way to go and that path is the path that Jesus walked, alone. We must find the access to His love that allows us to be our brother's keeper, and to see those we like least as our neighbor. It is the only way to find true love and worship of God.

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