Jesus answered, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
With the advent of warmer weather, many of us are emerging from the shelter of our homes, greeting neighbors whom we’ve hardly seen for the past six months. And our kids are getting outside, too, playing with the toys that have been left in the yard all winter, buried in the snow like archaeological curiosities.
I was playing with my two boys in the backyard last week, having unearthed a giant bouncy ball from it’s interment in the bushes, when it happened. I kicked it into the neighbor’s yard, right over the fence that divided our property. We’ve never actually seen or met these people, being as the wooden fence that separates us is rather high and my wife and I aren’t the most outgoing folks in town. Most people, at this point, probably would have just knocked on their door and politely asked for the ball. But that seemed rather awkward, so I decided to scale the fence instead. I was able to get a foothold on a wooden beam on my side, but the other side was a sheer drop. I’d never be able to get back up. So, I did what anyone else would; I snuck around the front of their house where the fence was lower, jumped over and crept through the grass like a suburban ninja, and retrieved the ball.
It’s kind of sad, really; when we first moved to the neighborhood a year ago, we got to know some people and we were pretty friendly with the neighbors. And after a single winter, everyone feels like a stranger. There’s a lovely woman named Sue who lives across the street; she even had my son over one day last year and let him play at her house. When I mentioned Sue to him the other day, he replied, “Who’s Sue?”
I’m glad to have real community here at church, where everyone knows your name; and where we’re always glad you came. So come worship with us on Sundays. Our new summer service time (9:30) begins on May 21. And maybe wear your name tag, for good measure.