Neighbor


Sounds like a very innocent word, doesn’t it.

We use it all the time, even a variant of it to describe someone or someones.

I am going to use it in the literal sense today.

Neighbor : one living or located near another by Merriam Webster

This will be our definition for use in the discussion.

Exodus 12:4 says ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; in proportion to what each one should eat, you are to divide the lamb.

This passage points to the subject of the ONE living near you It is the one that is involved in the daily activity of your life and to those around you. (Let me take a moment to set this in context that might help in our really understanding this concept. Think not of the context of this in the terms of today’s lives that we live now, Lord knows that we are so different in our lives that it would take a book to describe it.Think of when this text was written and the social atmosphere it was in. People were living in very small villages, with very small homes next to each other, with shared daily activities of getting food at the center of the village with everyone sharing their crops, and wares of personal use. These were their neighbors.) This is our reality too, but on a much grandeur stage for most of us. We usually consider ‘our’ neighbors the ones that we are in contact with going to work, and our extra activities outside the house. (Which is actually pretty sad when we say that)

Galatians 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

It is this statement that we have to break in two. We have to start with the second part first. Ourselves, this is the example, that we have to use as the foundation as the next step of a neighbor. It is this identity that we must ‘be’ to build on the reality of God. God in us, and us in Him. This is the light that must be seen from every hill on earth. Our neighbor being like us; being as God in them, and them in God.

I believe that this term of ‘neighbor‘ is the key to the ‘Kingdom of God’, but it is not seen as the method of instituting this kingdom in our system today.The ‘local church’ seems to be the rite of use in this day of time. (This topic will always be a concern for me, which I will always have doubts on) This term neighbor is the cornerstone to God’s flourishing expansion of His Life into the world. It starts as a more recent term as a ‘grass roots’ movement in our more recent sayings. The small but unique beginning of such symbolism of the next stage of the kingdom would be the ‘community‘.

The ‘community’ is the next step to the Kingdom in that the communities that are grown in the same way as the ‘neighbor’ model. The community filled with neighbors, expanding around each other finally becoming a Kingdom of God.

It is from this ‘community’ that I see the flourishing of the kingdom of God, in that the ‘world’ will ‘see’ the people of God as the ‘light’ on the hill that will lead them to God of All. It is this paradigm of God’s Kingdom that will prevail as model of the true ‘Ekklesia’ of Jesus’s Bride.

But it will all start with the simplest of things of our lives, our neighbor: the one living or located near another!

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