If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.

Frederick Buechner in Whistling in the Dark (1988)

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“What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”

Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37

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Jesus asked a rhetorical question here. Everyone present knew that the answer to the question, “Who was the real neighbor?” is the Samaritan. This was a big deal in that time frame because the Samaritan people were very unpopular because of their beliefs, their culture, and their racial background.

Think about this today. Who would it surprise us to know that they treated this man with compassion, gave up their place to sleep, and paid for the injured man’s care? What can we learn from this story?

I think that there are many ways that God’s love is shown every day by people who are unpopular and on the fringe of the acceptable. You have the ability to walk alongside both your neighbor who has been robbed and the one who helps. There is something to learn from every neighbor.

The expert on the Law learned that the Samaritan was just as much his neighbor as the injured man. He learned that there were so many more ways to “go and do likewise,” as Jesus said. Get going, friend!

Stephanie Vance

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God, you created me with the ability to recognize you. Help me to learn from others the depths of your love for all people. Amen.

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God loves us. Not because of or in spite of anything. There is no qualifier to God’s love.

God asks us to love the same way.

Go and love today and always!

Stephanie Vance

Stephanie Vance is commissioned field personnel with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and is currently serving as the National Manager for Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition. She also serves as the Area Coordinator for the Rural Americas Team of field personnel. She lives in Athens, AL.

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

Jon Chacko

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