But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:29
"But she's not one of us. I mean, she's so different!" "I don't now I just can't relate to him. After all, he comes from another country and he has this annoying accent!" "We don't have anything in common. After all, we're of different nationalities."
Who is my neighbor? The lawyer who approached Jesus was hoping Jesus would let him off the hook. He wanted to inherit eternal life, but he wanted it on his terms; those terms being that he be allowed to love and accept those whom he chose to love and accept. Suppose we transport this scenario forward some 2000 years and one of us approaches Jesus with this question How would he reply?
We are not too likely to come across someone lying in a ditch robbed and beaten. Who,then, is Jesus asking us in our present day setting, to rescue? Who would that neighbor be?
Each new day that God graciously gives us is a new opportunity to ask him to direct us to "a neighbor in need." It will take courage to pray it, because that prayer may not be answered the way we would choose, but we can count on it being answered. A neighbor in need awaits each of us.
Lord of the universe, teach us to serve You through serving our neighbors. Amen.