Love Your Neighbor, The Hard Cases

I love my neighbors. They are really nice people and always stop to ask how we are doing. They help with problems we have and will check on our house when we are away on vacation. Good people.

Well, to be honest, I do not love all of my neighbors. There are a few people whom I have not even met and they do not appear very friendly. As with any neighborhood there are a variety of different personalities, personal tastes and backgrounds. It is not easy to love all of your neighbors.

It becomes even more complicated when you consider that “neighbor,” as meant by Jesus, is not confined to the people who live on your block. It generically means other people–all of them, everyone on the planet. Whoa. How I am to love them all?

During Lent I will be preaching a series of sermons on “Loving Your Neighbor–the Hard Cases.” This will include the personal difficulties we have with people we know as well as the societal problems of everyone trying to get along in a pluralistic world.

This Sunday, February 14, I will be looking at the background to Jesus’ teaching that we should “love God and our neighbor as you do yourself.” These ideals have a long tradition in Judaism and a clear meaning that will guide us in their application throughout Lent.

To make it interesting we will be challenging everyone to try to show more love to your neighbors. We even have a little reminder to carry around with you. I am looking forward to a very interesting Lent.

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