Community-Building: Love Your Neighbor
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
It’s easy to love others who are like us or related to us. It’s natural to love ourselves. But what do we do with that pesky neighbor who is always complaining about our lawn? Or the homeless person we see shuffling down our city streets? Or someone who doesn’t bathe and we need to put a hand over our nose in order to even get close to her? It’s really hard to love people like that. Yet, that is exactly what Jesus is telling us to do with this story. Love the hurting, the disabled, the unlovable. One way to model this for our children is to go as a family and work at a place that ministers to those who are difficult to love and to help. Serving meals at a homeless shelter, or delivering holiday dinners to poor urban families will expose them to their needy neighbors and show them how to love their neighbor.
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What was Pastor Dan’s assignment?
A. To show love to their “neighbor.”
Q. What parable of Jesus was Pastor Dan teaching?
A. The Good Samaritan.
Q. Who was confident that she would have no problem doing this?
Q. To whom did Julia try to be a good neighbor?
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Read Luke 10:30-37. Who does God expect us to treat as our neighbor? What does this teach us about God?
Our neighbor is anyone who has a need, including but not limited to people just like us, or people with whom we are comfortable. The phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” occurs frequently in the Bible. It is a part of the Greatest Commandment that Jesus states in the Gospels (see Mark 12: 28-31; Matthew 22:34-49). This is the greatest commandment for us, the commandment that is to shape our mindset and behavior. When we love others this way, as much as we even love ourselves, we show God how much we love him.