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In recent days I have seen some concerning trends. With the increase in mask wearing and the need for social distancing, people are becoming more isolated than ever before in our society. People are not talking to each other in public places like they once did. We have real challenges when it comes to showing the love of Christ during this time. We also face the very real danger of illness when it comes to reaching out to others and helping those in need. Let’s remember Jesus’ teaching about loving our neighbor.

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:30-37).

The Samaritan faced very real barriers to being a good neighbor. Social, racial, physical danger, and financial barriers had to be overcome in order for him to help the man he found left for dead on the side of the road. It may take more effort than we are used to, to stay safe, but are we willing to overcome the barriers and be the good neighbor we are called to be?

Brad Tolbert
Monticello church of Christ
Monticello, AR

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