In the 1800s and 1900s, brave households sometimes picked up to move to another region of the same state or territory…and the chance that former neighbors would remain connected to another was small.  Those who settled beyond a few mile radius…may as well have been a lifetime away.  Think of how different this is than our modern experience!  The experiences our families and friends had 100 or 150 years ago when someone moved away from home. There was a quite reasonable chance that person/family might never come back, ever.  Especially if they emigrated across the sea.  How did a mother and father say goodbye, goodbye forever, to their child/ren?  A child, to their parents?

Ellis Island, 1902

Ellis Island, 1902

In Jesus time, the same truth existed.  Neighbors were your clan, your tribe.  They lived near you, you were related to them, you had the same religion and values.  If another tribe or clan didn’t live near you, work with you, live with you, believe with you, they were not your neighbors.  Your lives did not touch, would not touch, and should not touch.  At all.

The story of the Good Samaritan (July 14, 2013) begins here.  With peoples whose lives had rigid edges, impermeable boundaries, and no intersection.  Then, all of a sudden, in a parable Jesus tells, strangers lives begin to intersect.  What happens next is absolutely, powerfully parabolic.

So come join our neighborhood gathering, open to all.  We gather at God’s house at 9 am on Sunday all summer long.  You are welcome in-person, or slide into your digital “pew” on the radio; both are fantastic.  See you there.