Who is my neighbor?

July 7, 2016 | Written by

crowdI have never put on a uniform which marked me as a target of criticism, hatred, and even violence from those I’ve sworn to protect.

I have never walked around with the skin color that marked me as a person to be feared, oppressed, or judged.

I have friends who have, and yet I don’t truly understand what goes through the mind of an officer or a black man who looks in the mirror before he walks out the door for the day.

From the safety of a screen I can watch a video, or read a post, and make my assessment and judgment, but I have never been there, in it.

Who is my neighbor?
Alton Sterling.

Who is my neighbor?
Baton Rouge Police Officers.

Who is my neighbor?
A nation where sides are drawn and walls are built by those who refuse to cross over, to see the others as their neighbor, to have compassion, to bind up wounds.

Today I lament for sons who’ve lost their dads, for city protectors whose jobs have become more risk and less reward, and for communities who are more divided than ever.

And today I choose not to give in to hopelessness and despair. I choose hope because of the Good News of something that has happened that has done more than condemn evil; it served as an announcing of the beginning of the rescue and renewal of everything, from death and violence, to fear and prejudice, to inequality and injustice. God is working to make all things new, and he invites all of us to join him, to bring a kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

So I grieve, but not as those who have no hope.

And I continue to ask, “Who is my neighbor?”

Written by Thomas Thompson

This Sunday we start a five week series on the good Samaritan. Each week we will look at this story through the eyes of a different person …

• A religious person, who had a question.
• A pair of believers, who had a responsibility.
• A Rabbi, who had a command.
• An outsider, who had compassion.
• An audience, who had a decision.

This sermon series could not come at a better time.


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