John 1:14 of the Holy Bible says….”The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
This past Christmas, I gave significant thought as to why Jesus was sent to Earth….
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Moving ahead about 30 years, Jesus appears to his disciples after He has risen from the dead. This is what He says to them…
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Moving ahead about 2000 years…if we call ourselves Jesus’s disciples, then this is for us as well, right? As the Father sends Jesus, He now sends YOU and ME…filled with His Spirit…to PROCLAIM freedom for those held in bondage of all kinds, to PROCLAIM recovery for those who are sick, and PROCLAIM the Lord’s favor. It is not good enough to simply feed the homeless, clothe the naked, or care for the widows and orphans, although that is all WONDERFUL stuff! Please don’t get me wrong. But, we, if we call ourselves Jesus’s followers, also need to be sure to also PROCLAIM the name of Jesus, the Good News (Gospel). Isn’t it natural that we would want to share Good News with our neighbors and friends? We tell each other about a great book, movie, band or shopping deal. Why wouldn’t we want to naturally share the Good News of Jesus?
We are called to love God and love our neighbor. The church does a great job of teaching us how to love God, however often lacks teaching us who our neighbor is and how we can love them. I am not an expert in the topic and am still learning. So, I am exploring what it means to love your neighbor as yourself….and in the process hope to help us think about practical and creative ways we can get to know our neighbors, our communities, those around us…and love them, because He first loved us.