“Love thy Neighbor” – The Golden Rule taught to us as children. “Who is your neighbor.” the lawyer asked, and again we were taught – “the Samaritan” – the man who helped a stranger in need. Final instructions – “feed and tend my flock.”
Strip it back to the basics, the message is clear “love and care for our neighbors.” Two thousand years later, there is still a lot of work to do here on earth. We struggle for guidance, but it is in front of our noses — help each other, pray for each other, nourish each other, and celebrate with each other. We even at times need to leave each other alone, but in short – “love each other.” Treat our neighbor as we would want to be treated. To love each other we have to know and understand each other as well as we love and understand ourselves. We are all called to get our hands dirty like the Samaritan and use our resources, strength and skills to shower our neighbors with love. In doing so, tongues will wag, risks will be taken, and at times we will fail. Yet these struggles and failures on behalf of our neighbor are the source of our greatest treasure, deepest joy, and highest hope.
Sometimes, I forget the basics. When I used to forget them on the practice field, my football coach used to say “I was getting too fancy, get back to the basics.” Sometimes we make life too complicated and when we do, it’s good, to get back to the basics.