Love Your Neighbor

On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about the neighborhood in which I was raised. I was supported, encouraged and given guidance and wisdom from other neighbors. The couple who owned the neighborhood grocery store even gave me a weekend job for a year so that I could save up money for college. Because of my neighborhood, I became who I am today.

Diana Butler Bass, in her book Grounded, writes:

When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we build sacred connections between the spaces we inhabit.

There was something sacred, something spiritual happening in the neighborhood of my childhood and teenage years. It was sacred because of the connections that happened when people loved their neighbors. And I am very grateful!

In our Gospel reading on Sunday, a man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life; and then he answered his own question, based upon the teachings of the Old Testament:

Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

This man wanted to know who is neighbor was. Jesus moved the conversation from drawing circles around our homes in order to define our neighbors to discussing the importance of acting with compassion toward all people.

Who is your neighbor today and this week? How will you act with compassion toward him or her? How will you build sacred connections with this person…and help him/her to become who he/she might be in the future?

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana