Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

One of the most touching moments in the movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about Fred Rogers is the replay of a 1981 episode of Roger’s famous “Neighborhood” TV show in which ten-year old Jeff Erlanger, sings a duet with Rogers of It’s You I Like. Jeff sits in a motorized wheelchair because of quadriplegia from spinal surgery for a tumor. Rogers bends down close to Jeff, as they sing about the important things in life being deep inside of you, rather than what you wear, or your “fancy chair.”

In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus speaks words of challenge and hope that are important for us today. Jesus says that every time we offer food to the hungry and water to thirsty, or welcome the stranger, we welcome him. Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me, Jesus says. (Matthew 25:40) He also speaks words of challenge and judgement to those who do not “do it to me.”

Jesus is talking about more than doing kind acts. He is talking about what is deep inside of us―is what is in our hearts His Spirit, His voice, His face of love and compassion? If so, that guides our actions. If not…   This passage in Matthew comes right before Jesus’ final days with the disciples. He longs for them to see his face in others, from deep inside of them, and act in His name. Jesus draws us deep into the places of ourselves to remember when others have seen Christ’s face in OUR need, and acted in compassion.

This Sunday, July 8, we’ll talk about this passage as part of Connecting to Jesus…the Power of Hope.” Elizabeth Heft, General Board of Global Ministries missionary in Bethlehem, will be with us in worship to briefly share about her experiences. She will then share more and answer questions at a lunch in Fellowship Hall at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome. No reservations needed.

Prayer:  Our gratitude is great, O God, for life and breath, and rain and your presence and love with us.  Draw us deeply into your love, so that we can offer that love to all your children.  Help us see the face of Christ in those who need help, and guide us in offering the best of you. Amen.

Blessings, Sharon

P.S.  Today our senior high youth and their chaperones left for Sierra Service Project, a week of mission work, learning and serving. Keep them in prayer as they serve on our behalf.