Tidings for Tuesday

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:14

The observance of the law and the liberty of grace come together at this great crossroad: Love thy neighbour! Rigid adherence to the law could not be taken to a higher level than this. And, under grace, we are given a new law, that we love one another.

The apostle brings this great commandment of the law into his discussion of the Galatians’ return to legal observance. In today’s text, he points out that loving our neighbour is essential to both sides, and that the Galatians should not be involved in animosity over this issue.

So, how are we doing in the ‘Love thy neighbour’ department? For most of us, loving our neighbour is no big problem, as long as we get to choose who is our neighbour. But the choice is not ours. Just as the Good Samaritan did not get to choose who he was to rescue on the Jericho road, so we don’t get to choose those who need our neighbourliness. The other members of the Assembly (all of them, not just those in our clique), the people we work with, the folks who live near to us, these are all our neighbours. And we can see their needs. We see those who need companionship and comfort, or a bit of money or food, those who need the Gospel and a friendly smile.

If it is not given to us to decide who we are to help today, let us be aware that we should help everyone who we can. Don’t overlook anyone, not even those who overlook us.

You are my neighbour. I love you. Have I helped you today? -Jim MacIntosh

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