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Being Neighborly

Series: Pastors Corner | Story 6

Greetings and God’s peace to you all from our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ,

Several years ago now a survey was taken about, “Why don’t people get to know their neighbors anymore (in the United States)? It was stated then, that a third of the population knew their neighbor’s names and interacted with them socially at least once a week. The decline in interaction amongst people being neighborly could have resulted in several of these possibilities; urbanization, technology, busy lifestyles, safety concerns, community design, and cultural shifts. Nonetheless, when it comes down to it, do we know who our neighbors are?

In rural communities it’s near impossible to not know who your neighbors are but even in the rural areas as of late it’s becoming not all that uncommon. We are beginning to start to see the influx of people moving out of the hustle and bustle, the crime filtrated urban areas and take up residence in our “quiet” little towns.

So many are becoming fed up with “keeping up with the Jones’”, in urban USA that we in rural USA no longer know who our neighbors are. Something we do know is that even as human nature, interaction amongst each other promotes healthy lifestyles. Simply smiling and saying hello to someone you may not know, can make or break someone’s day.

It’s that simple act of being kind and just saying hello that welcomes someone into your neighborhood and or someone maybe you haven’t said hello to for years, even though they have lived next door to you for many years.

Mister Roger’s a well-respected and kind man would greet everyone who rang his doorbell on his show, “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” with a hello neighbor. The person at the door may have been someone who he had never met before or the mailman, or a stranger, yet he still greeted them with, “hello neighbor.” We could learn SO much from the simple act of kindness that this wonderful man exemplified.

Our neighbor isn’t necessarily the person or people living next to us, even near us. Our neighbors are the ones we meet every day. It’s the grocer, the hair dresser, the banker, the police man or woman, and its especially those who need our care, the ones who can’t fend for themselves for whatever their need is.

The point is everyone is our neighbor and we are commanded to not only help them but to know them. Jesus says in Mark 12:28-31 ESV [28] “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” [29] Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Fellow neighbors of one another to love someone as yourself, you have to know the person, spend time with the person and strive to understand the person. Jesus has compared the love we have for our neighbors to the love we have for ourselves. Sometimes loving ourselves can be difficult but can you hear and see the contrast here.

We don’t reach out to our own neighbors because we have too much to hide ourselves, not realizing our neighbors just might possibly be feeling the same way. Nobody wants to air their dirty laundry but just maybe if we aired it together, knowing who our neighbor is won’t be as threatening to both parties involved.

I pray that we all have the courage to breakdown the walls and barriers within ourselves keeping us from knowing who our neighbors are!

Your Brother in Christ,

Pastor Travis Powers

Christ Lutheran Church



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