We’re starting the Love Your Neighbor idea in Hendricks County, Indiana as a way of simply encouraging our communities and neighborhoods and people to get to know, understand, and care for the people who live around us. Not just the people we like or who look like, think like, or believe what we do. Instead, Love Your Neighbor means what it says: we seek to love and care for and include every neighbor, no exceptions.
As Christians, we love our neighbors unconditionally because Jesus taught us to do so as the primary act of our faith. Once, a religious scholar asked Jesus which was the greatest religious commandment. “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this…’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-29) For Jesus, it was impossible to love God if one wasn’t loving her or his neighbor.
In a world where our divisions and differences can seem like barriers, our simple movement seeks to cross bridges and cultural divides, to encourage curiosity and understanding, and to build goodwill among people of many different ages, social backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders, faiths, and political viewpoints. We have no religious “agenda” other than offering acts of love and mercy and compassion to our community.
The Love Your Neighbor campaign is a project started by Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Brownsburg, but the idea is owned by us all and seeks to draw all of us together to seek the very best for every resident of our communities, towns, and region.
Take a look at the ideas on this site for Ways to Love Your Neighbor. Is there one step you could take today to join in loving, serving, or including someone different from you? You’re always welcome to love, serve, and include everyone in our community alongside us… there’s never an obligation or pressure to “join.”
The Rev. Dr. Gray Lesesne
Pastor, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church