Day 16: Saturday, March 11, 2023
Rev. Sela Finau
Love Your Neighbor
Scripture: You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18 NRSV)
Devotion: We often hear Jesus saying to love God with all of our hearts, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor. Jesus also said that loving God and neighbor were the greatest commandments of all. What we don’t often hear is that these words reiterated by Jesus also show up in the Old Testament, in the book of Leviticus:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
Who is our neighbor? Everyone. How we show love to everyone can be challenging, particularly with those whose choices we dislike, whose lifestyles we disapprove of, or anyone that’s too different. When we encounter people whose race, culture, religion, or political view differs from ours, the challenge to love them increases. God, who created and loved all people, calls and empowers us to love one another. We are called to love God with our whole selves, and we do this by loving one another and our neighbors.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Do not waste your time bothering about whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did… When you are behaving as if you love someone, you will presently come to love him.”
In this season of Lent, may we seek God’s guidance in helping us to grow our love for our neighbor.
Prayer: Holy God, you are always merciful and loving. May you continue to help us grow in our love for you through loving our neighbors. Amen