You know the neighbor who won’t mow their yard – or the one who lets their dog poop in yours?

It’s OK to love them. (Even if the other neighbors gripe.)

You know the people who smoke, drink and curse just a little too much?

Yep, it’s OK to love them too.

How about the guys who want cake, or the girls who prefer cupcakes?

We’re called to serve them well.

And to those with skin darker than ours, or lighter than ours, or more wrinkly or even smoother and shiny?

It’s our duty to invite them in.

It’s easy to get love a little twisted – we like to complicate things.

In the name of borders and boundaries, safety and self-righteousness, we board up our homes, close our businesses and wall off our hearts to keep others out.

Yet if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we see a different way.

He accepted the invitation to eat with “sinners.” He washed the dirty feet of someone who would later stab him in the back.

He healed people for no pay. He offered compassion, love and help even when he felt exhausted.

He served people even if he didn’t agree with them, and he loved even when they were a threat.

As DC Talk put it,

“Here is the example that we oughta be matchin’, cause luv is a word that requires some action.”

Scripture

Luke 19:1-10

Reflect

Am I loving my neighbor, and my fellow man, well? Am I treating others the way I would want to be treated?