Neighbor Day, this rather cheesy monthly event on our summer calendar is based on Matthew 22:36-40 when Jesus stated that the first commandment was the Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then stated that the second commandment was to Love your neighbor as yourself. If you’re a Christ-follower- then chances are you know these commandments by heart. If not, they’re worth memorizing. These two tiny little phrases are worth wrestling with our entire lives because learning to love is a lifelong habit.
Worship and bible study, if done right, do so much to teach and form us on how to love God well but often in our circles forget the second commandment. Today is focused on how to love others well because human history past and present have proved were not that good at it. Given that every human is made in the image of God, we learn a little more about the one we follow and declare as Lord every time we learn to love our neighbor.
Our monthly neighbor day has been on the calendar for a month, but today with more news of racism and white supremacy I am reminded strongly of how much we have failed in loving our neighbor.
So what? How then should we live?
Through small steps of learning how to better love our neighbor.
One good question on days like today when the whole world seems to be falling apart as deep-seated racism rear’s its horrible head, how are we better learning our neighbor?
For me, (Caitlin), as a white privileged woman that means I’m trying to listen to voices of color and wrestle with my own participation in this flawed society. Another next month we will talk more about other things we can do, ways to pray, and how it forms us, but if you’re like me, today we must listen.
One good way to hold up the mirror to our own sins is by exposing our implicit biases. Our biases are formed by the time we are three years old, and yet we are often not aware of them. Here is a link to Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test. This is good and hard work to being able to love our neighbor well.
Who are you listening to today? Or, who needs to hear from you today?