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So who is my neighbour?

The sermon on Sunday at Spirit Song was on the Good Samaritan. You remember the story. A lawyer asked Jesus what he must do to be inherit eternal life and be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Like any good teacher, Jesus turned to the question back saying to him,

“What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.

Jesus replied to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.” However, the lawyer was not done. He went on to ask, “Who is my neighbour?” — Luke 10:25–29

The parable Jesus then relates tells the story of a man who was robbed and left for dead. Both a priest and a Levite (a man who worked in the temple), passed by without helping. However a Samaritan, despised by most in Jesus’ community, did stop and render assistance even putting the injured man up in a nearby inn. Jesus then asks which of the three; the priest, the Levite or the Samaritan acted as a neighbour to the man dying at the roadside. The lawyer said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”— Luke 10:30–37

So in today’s much more chaotic world, who is my neighbour? For a genetic perspective on who our neighbours are, and indeed who our brothers and sisters are, I highly recommend The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey which I first saw on the National Geographic channel. The author, Spencer Wells says,  “You and I, in fact everyone all over the world, we’re all literally African under the skin; Brothers and sisters separated by a mere 2.000 generations. Old fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive, but scientifically wrong. It’s only when we’ve fully taken this onboard, that we can say with any conviction that the journey our ancestors launched all those years ago, is complete.”