We never had a “quick trip to the store.” Some folks run in and out of spots like grocery stores, gas stations, and post offices. But not my family. Not my Dad.
When I was little, we’d go for a walk and my Dad would wave to every car that passed. Almost without exception, the driver and/or passenger would wave back. I’d ask him, “Who was that, Dad?” He’d say, “A neighbor.” People would light up in the hardware store when they saw my Dad come in. He was certainly a good customer, but they wouldn’t just talk about the merchandise. They’d share what was going on with their families, their business, and their opinions about politics. When we left, I’d ask, “Who was that, Dad?” He’d say, “A neighbor.” I came to see that Dad encountered neighbors absolutely everywhere. Church, school, work, sporting events, even taking the garbage out to the curb, my Dad would meet neighbors along the way. I couldn’t help but think of him when I heard Luke 18:31-19:10.
Since Luke 9, Jesus has been on his way to Jerusalem. That’s a pretty long walk. And all along the way, Jesus greets and takes time with people. In our reading for this Sunday, the divine equivalent to a friendly wave from Jesus is his gift of miraculous healing and a life restored. Each and every person Jesus greets is a neighbor.
We started this Lenten season with a reminder that we were called to love God and love our neighbor. Jesus has been showing us what that looks like throughout his life and ministry. And in this season of new life it seems all the more necessary that we remember Jesus considers each of us his neighbor, too.
See you Sunday…