Thoughts Along the Way October 12, 2021

Thoughts Along the Way

Pastor Tom Joyce

October 12, 2021

 

“But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’”

Luke 10:29

 

In a world of color-coded states, categories, sub-categories, and sub-categories of the sub-categories, Jesus offers an alternative.  Just as the first petition of the Prayer of Jabez prays, “O that you would bless me and enlarge my border,” (I Chronicles 4:10) Jesus is calling us to “enlarge our border” and expand our opportunity to celebrate the privilege not only of serving but of coming to know people we may avoid due to circumstance, how someone else characterizes them, or how me may judge them. Jesus was a big tent kind of a guy; if someone needed help, he helped them; if someone needed a kind word, he offered it; if someone needed, which all people do, grace then it was offered. Have you ever noticed how big God is? Never a day goes by when I don’t gaze into the sky, whether clear or beset by clouds, that I do not marvel about the bigness of God. God’s grace is large scale as well; never ending, never failing, and available to everybody. We have been offered an opportunity to “enlarge our borders” and take the time to realize that all people are our neighbors, that the bigness of God includes you and me as well as those we encounter along the way. The categories we create and the judgements we make about others have a tendency to shrink the world God has placed before us; when we spend more time trying to figure out who our neighbor is, the more opportunities are lost witnessing the “overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God,” (Cory Asbury) not to mention depriving ourselves of truly experiencing the grace of Jesus Christ in our own lives.  When the love of our Lord Jesus Christ is witnessed to all, the question “who is my neighbor” becomes mute. But if you have to ask here is the answer; all for whom Christ died. Put another way, everybody….