Last year after Easter we celebrated the church with “I Love My Church.” It was a great day as we gathered and expressed great appreciation to Jesus, for giving us the Church, and to one another for friendships and fellowship that have unified us in ministry throughout our local body of believers. As we approached this Spring we embraced a new idea of love and gratitude that is much needed in any community, to love our neighbor. Seminole is no different than any other community in any other state, in that, we deeply desire to have unity but sometimes need a little push that drives us into our neighbors homes and lives to better live within that unity. It is my hope that many throughout our church and community will take an opportunity on Sunday night April 30th to get together and share in the blessing of being neighbors during the “I Love My Neighbor” event.
Jesus was once asked by an expert in the law what He believed to be the greatest commandment. Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. All of the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:36-40) Now, there is some debate in the Christian community over what it means to love our neighbor, how to love our neighbor, and who is our neighbor. Fortunately, scripture speaks many other times about neighbors, including Jesus’ explanation of neighbor in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story, found in Luke 10: 25-37, Jesus describes the true neighbor as the one who takes time to care for a person in need. In other words, one particular person takes notice of another person, who bears the image of God, and spends their own personal time, efforts, money, and fellowship to care for and truly demonstrate what a “neighbor” is.
Our community, like many, would do well to remember the true measure of what being a neighbor to someone really is. It is not defined only by proximity, ethnicity, background, age, or any other demographic. It is defined by our general attraction to all people because they bear the image of our Creator. When we see people through that lens we can truly experience genuine fellowship and unity in our communities. We do not have to agree on all things, but, we can be a community of neighbors who truly love one another.
FBC family, I hope you are making plans to either invite your neighbors over or join with other members to host neighbors at a particular house on April 30th. May the Lord be with us all!