Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” –Luke 10:25-29

Who is my neighbor?

Thus begins one of the most well-known stories Jesus tells during his ministry: a Samaritan, an enemy of Jesus’ people, is the only person willing to stop and help someone attacked and left for dead on the side of the road. How might Jesus’ initial audience have felt, hearing a story about a person they hated being depicted as a neighbor?

Who are our neighbors?

We might initially think of those who live in the same apartment building or complex that we do or who live on the same street as we do. Jesus invites us to cast the net wider. Who might be a neighbor to you that you wouldn’t name right away?

You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself

How might you reach out to someone with love who lives across the country or even across the world? How might you reach out to someone with love who has a different worldview or practices a different religion than you? This summer, we will explore how to do just this, using a tool created by the organization, Interfaith Philadelphia, called “Passport to Understanding.” Together, we will consider: who are our neighbors and how can we embrace them with love?

In Christ, Pastor Kat

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