Won’t you be my neighbor?
Recognized by generations throughout the world as a question posed by the infamous Fred (Mister) Rogers, this quote came to mind as this Sunday’s Gospel lesson (Luke 10:25-37), shares the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Reading through this lesson, verse 29 poses the question: “And who is my neighbor?” When questions are asked, as a musician, the answers that immediately come to mind are those found within the poetry of hymns or sacred choral literature. This week, the prominent response comes from the pen of Tom Colvin, an engineer turned pastoral missionary, who served the Church throughout Ghana and Malawi:
“…Neighbors are rich and poor, neighbors are black and white, Neighbors are near and far away. These are the ones we should serve, these are the ones we should love; All these are neighbors to us and you…”
These verses are part of the well-known hymn “Jesus, Jesu, fill us with your love;” Lift Every Voice and Sing II, #74.
On July 10th, the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost, you will hear the complete Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke, which includes the oft-cited Verse 27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” You will also have the opportunity sing Colvin’s hymn in its entirety during the Offertory. And as we read/sing these words, reflect on the question: “Who is my neighbor?” and how we, as Christians, can serve all peoples?