“Who is my neighbor?” This is a question everyone should ask? It’s what the rich young ruler asked Jesus in Luke Chapter 10. And in response, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. A few weeks ago, my family and I were neighbors in need, tomorrow it will be someone else or even you.
“Visit, visit, visit!” That is what an old friend wrote inside the cover of the prayer book he gave me when I arrived in my first church. That discipline was instilled in me when I was serving as an assistant minister and has remained with me ever since.
Ideally, it would be a perfect week if I could achieve an average of one visit per day. Yesterday, I managed two, and one of those was to our neighbor across the road, whom we try to see at least once a week. She has the most beautiful garden and even though it was under water a few weeks ago, it is still a marvel to behold and full of perennial flowers and the ever-present wildlife which it attracts.
Just over 90 days ago, the turtles were laying their eggs and despite the predation of nests by racoons and foxes, we have been hoping for hatchlings. Yesterday, we saw our first survivor in the garden. Two inches long from head to tail and perfectly formed in every detail.
The web of life, of which we are all a part teaches us that none of us can remain healthy if we try to live in isolation. Just like a healthy spider’s web, every strand is interconnected.
The purposes of any visit are many, to show we care, to learn about each other and remind us all that we do not walk alone. Hosts and visitors alike share news about their lives, their families, and friends. From the pictures on their walls to the names, places and people in the stories told, a strong sense of belonging is formed.
My neighbor is the person I invited to our Welcome Back Sunday. Unfortunately, she was not able to come due to other plans, but she did say that she’d like to come another day. One day, we hope that you will meet my neighbor.
Jesus visited many homes and blessed them with His presence. The life of each one was transformed. So, let me encourage you to visit, visit, visit. I am confident that the reward for the time invested will reap dividends beyond your expectations. And I look forward to the day they come to visit us at church, or when I meet them in your home and you can introduce them saying, “This is my neighbor.”