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Church News Volume 4, Issue 1

Dear friends,

"Who is my neighbour?" Jesus was once asked. He replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The idea of 'neighbour' to those at the time of Jesus, would be the people who were like themselves, ie fellow Jews.

The story Jesus told is of a Jew who had been waylaid and robbed, and then helped by one who was a traditional enemy. Samaritans and Jews, though close in many ways, were bitter opponents. How often is it true that our sharpest criticism, our deepest dislike can be against those who are nearly like us, but differ in some small but vital principal. History has shown that it is certainly true of religion and politics!

But Jesus' definition of 'a neighbour' takes in anybody at all whom we can help in any way, or encourage, or influence for good, of whatever nationality or occupation.

But how far do we carry out Our Lord's teaching?

We are nearly always good neighbours when people we know, or live close to, are in obvious trouble. People who have illness, or who have some disaster at home, often say how kind all the neighbours have been.

Bad times bring out the best in us: but good times may mean there is nothing to arouse our sympathy and goodwill, and we forget, when friendly words, avoidance of petty jealousies and so on may mean a great deal.

Are we neighbourly to people we meet as strangers, outsiders, if they are in need of help and encouragement? We are not to be shy, we ought not to hold back out of mistaken humility.

Jesus calls us to love God, as well as obeying Him; and He calls us to love our neighbour as well as helping him.

Who do we regard as our neighbour?

The people next door?
Those in the next village?
Those who live in another European country?
Those who live in the Third World?
Those of a different colour?
Language?
Religion?

Love your neighbour as you love yourself, said Jesus. The world certainly needs neighbourly love right now!

Your friend and Vicar

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011