ODJ: love as you love yourself

July 4, 2014 

READ: Luke 10:25-37 

Love your neighbour as yourself (v.27).

Following a mass shooting in which a dozen victims were murdered, a writer lamented that the horrific event received a lack of media coverage and national attention. “What number of dead here would it have taken to give the nation pause?” Cynthia McCabe wrote in a blog post. While some people moved on quickly from reflecting on the senseless crime and those affected by it, many individuals, organisations and churches demonstrated compassion for those affected by the tragedy. That includes my friend Heidi who—along with other members of her local church—chose to remember the victims in a tangible way.
The church organised a prayer vigil for the men, women and children who had lost loved ones to the terrible attack. In essence they were saying, “You are our neighbours. We’re sorry for your pain. We grieve with you and ask God to give you comfort and peace that surpasses understanding during this sorrowful time.” They did as Luke 10:27 instructs: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

We can all be ‘Good Samaritans’ in our local areas by compassionately caring for those who are affected by crimes, accidents or disasters. This includes bandaging wounds, transporting the hurting and helping to meet physical needs through provision of food and housing (vv.33-35). But whether or not we live near them, we can all stop and pray when we learn of others’ hardships.

Jesus says we demonstrate love when we show mercy to those who have been affected by adversity. Like the good Samaritan who stopped to help a stranger who had been beaten and was left lying in the road, may we show loving compassion to our neighbours in need (vv.36-37). —Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan› Matthew 7:13-29

Read 1 John 3:16-18 and consider what it says about what true love looks like. 
What are some practical ways you can show compassion to others? What does it mean to love them as you love yourself?