Helping your Neighbor
Jesus assured his disciples that they would not be left alone; the Holy Spirit would be sent to be presence with them to comfort them, and to teach them more about God. Even though as Christians today we have the Spirit’s presence and guidance, there are times of crises in our lives when we need to be reminded that we are not alone. One of the most healing acts is simply one’s loving presence at the point of need. We may need another’s presence; we may be that person for a fellow sufferer in his or her time of distress.
The first of the Ten Commandments tells us to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. In Luke 10:29-37, Jesus is asked about who is our neighbor; he relates the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus did not define neighbor as one who lives nearby, but rather as one in need. The ill, the grief stricken, the destitute, the jobless, the homeless are our neighbors. They may look like us, or they may be very different. They may live in our state, or they may live on another continent. We are comforted by the Spirit, taught and led by the Spirit, not only for our own good, but for the sharing of God’s love to our neighbor.
—Rev. Bill Webb
- In your own life or household, how is love shown? Mainly by words or by actions? What kind?
- How do you go about showing someone that you love and care about them? How do you show love to your parents? Your spouse? Your children? Your friends?
- What effect do you think the parable of the Good Samaritan had on Jesus’ followers? What must have been their reaction?
- Can you visualize yourself in this parable or in a similar situation? Which character would you be?
How Do I Act?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13; meditate upon the characteristics of love as explained there.
- List two of the aspects of love, as enumerated in this chapter, which you will especially work to achieve.
- Relate an incident to a friend or family member of a time when you felt unloved. Explain the reasons for that feeling. If you don’t feel like you can share it, journal about the experience.
- Read and visualize the coming of the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2. Imagine yourself being filled with warmth, love, and indescribable joy. Try to keep that feeling within you.