Quotes: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

love your neighbor sign godMatthew 22:34-40 NRSV
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

See also Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8  

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” not “as much as you love yourself.” We are to love our neighbor in the same way we love ourselves. “We love because God has first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we accept the unconditional love and undeserved mercy that God offers us—knowing that we are not worthy of it—then we can allow God to love others through us in the same way. It’s God in you loving you, warts and all, and God in you loving others as they are. This is why the love you have available to give away is limitless. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “The water that I shall give you will turn into a spring inside of you, welling up into limitless life” (John 4:14). – Richard Rohr

A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
– Richard Whately

We hermetically seal ourselves off from the undesired ‘other,’ the stranger, and in doing so, we seal ourselves off from God. By rejecting God in the neighbor, we reject the love that can heal us. -Ilia Delio

“Leave me alone”, is not a good news!
“Let’s be together” is not a bad news.
We were made to be each others keepers.
Let love lead
― Israelmore Ayivor

We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another. (…) There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith

There are really only two religions, two ways of living, and every moment everyone, religious of every flavor and atheist alike, is choosing which way we go. One is the Religion of Being Right. The other is the Religion of Being In Love.
click here for the rest of this thought provoking log post by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled Choose Love

For practical ideas on building community in your neighborhood, check out this blog post by Ed Stetzer entitled 10 Ways to Love your Neighbor. In it he interviewed the good folks at Apartment Life, an organization who exists to foster environments where apartment residents can build quality relationships through a renewed focus on community.

Love your neighbor by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love your neighbor as deeply,
as instinctively, as surely
as you watch out for yourself.

Love your neighbor knowing
God sees you both alike,
with the same loving delight.

Love your neighbor to be true to yourself,
to discover yourself.

Love your neighbor as you love them,
with your gifts and presence,
not as someone else.

Honor your neighbor’s reality
as real and valid as yours.

Love your neighbor,
who is your self.

Let loving your neighbor
be your self, your life, who you are.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

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Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 23, Neighbors

Back to School Fair CollageThe thought behind the photo:
Our annual back to school fair brings together congregations, businesses, schools, organizations and government to bless our neighbors with story books, a Bible, a haircut, toiletries, a backpack full of supplies, gently used clothes, and a shopping trip to pick out a brand new outfit including shoes. People stay and have great conversations while enjoying the homemade goodies. The relationship building is so beautiful we’re expanding our year-round food pantry to include more services and more opportunities for conversation, prayer and blessing.

The righteousness that we need is not obedience. It’s a loving relationship—and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God. In repentance we pray toward both God and neighbor, “I am not on my own. I am yours.” – Steve Garnaas Holmes, Prodigal Brothers

Heavenly One,
Your reach extends to every neighbor, every nation
Offering grace, forgiveness, wholeness, and hope
A saving embrace
Drawing us to you and each other

Make us your children
Grateful for a place in your family
Humble before your love and generosity
Faithful in honoring and welcoming all
Joyful in sharing what we have found in you
Amen.
Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, Make Us Your Children

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 5:13-14 CEB
You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love. All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.

The December 23, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 80:4-7, CEB
Lord God of heavenly forces, how long will you fume against your people’s prayer?
You’ve fed them bread made of tears; you’ve given them tears to drink three times over!
You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors; our enemies make fun of us.
Restore us, God of heavenly forces!
Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Someone’s not happy. The familiar cry, “How long?” is echoed here. And according to the psalm, it’s not the people at fault. It’s God. The people see no sign of God’s presence in the midst of the turmoil they are experiencing. They are being made to look ridiculous in front of their neighbors. They are hurt and scorned.

How long, O Lord?

When was the last time you admitted these raw feelings to God? When have you screamed, asking, “Why, God?”

This Advent season, what is it you lament? What is it you are asking God to restore?

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Thank you Rethink Church for a great way to make preparing for Christmas more meaningful. Join me and thousands more in setting aside time to reflect, focus, and literally picture the deep themes of Jesus’ birth.

Click here for more information on Advent Photo-A-Day from Rethink Church.

Click here for a master list of links to my submissions. Lisa <><