Who Is Your Neighbor?
When confronted with this question, Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan. This definition is so controversial that people today, rarely talk about this passage as one of their favorites because it is goes to the heart of our weaknesses... our inability to love those we don't know or don't like. When CNN brings news of an earthquake, tsunami, or famine, we have all been guilty of switching the channel quickly so we don't have to think about the needs of people outside our normal contact systems.
A recent editorial of this idea, used the phrase "Stop the World, I want to get off" as our reaction to maladies that are taking place in our world this very minute. I thought of this the last few weeks as Kenya was experiencing bloody attacks and ruthless killings in the aftermath of their elections. This is so out of character for Kenya as they have had violence during elections, but nothing like the fighting that followed a close race that saw the current leadership win by the smallest of margins. What I find most tragic about this is the lack of understanding by most Americans as to why many countries in Africa have reactions like this. That is because most Americans have not had to deal with the blessings and curses of tribal identification. In fact, this will not be openly discussed in very many places.
Kenya has worked very hard to minimize these tribal distinctions since their independence in the 1960's and the idea of all Kenyans having an equal opportunity has been an objective that for many has been a reality. That is why this current wave of violence is so tragic in that it digs up many past frustrations in the aftermath of the election. My good friends, David and Sharon, husband and wife who come from different tribal traditions, but are one in the Lord, have asked me to ask each of you for prayer for their country. I am happy to do that but I would also ask each of you to find a way to learn more about our neighbors around the world. Kenya happens to be a country whose population is still a majority Christian, and that would make them our Christian neighbor. Here is their prayer request to each of you:
We are praying against any cause for further blood shed, ethnic rivalry and that God may soften the hearts of both leaders for an amicable solution to end the stalemate and the violence.
As you consider, God's calling in your life in the New Year, why not get to know more of your neighbors?
You can read other MMM's by going to www.dlsconsult.com. Thanks for all of your thoughts, prayers and good wishes. They are all appreciated! dls
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