Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

 

It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,

A neighborly day for a beauty,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

 

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,

I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

 

So let's make the most of this beautiful day,

Since we're together, we might as well say,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Won't you be my neighbor?

 

Won't you please, won't you please,

Please won't you be my neighbor?

 

These were the lyrics of a song written by Mr. Rogers in 1967, who would sing it at the beginning of his PBS show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I grew up watching this show. I have vivid memories of lessons I learned watching this show. Lessons on forgiveness, kindness, love, courage.

 

We tend to think that neighbors are those who live next door, upstairs, downstairs or down the street. They are neighbors because of their proximity to us. Growing up, we knew our neighbors. We were like family. Nowadays, I can safely say that we hardly know who lives next door.

 

In Luke 10:27, we read “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.” Jesus is placing loving God and loving your neighbor on the same plane. In fact, Leviticus 6:2 states that we can commit “a breach of faith against the LORD by deceiving his neighbor.”

 

Have you ever asked yourself, why is the Bible making such an emphasis on loving and treating our neighbors well? Does not the Bible know that we have evil neighbors? Scary neighbors? Ungodly neighbors? Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in his first letter to not “seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (10:24). There are commandments that address neighborly behaviors. But why?

 

Who are these neighbors? The neighbors are those who show God’s mercy and grace. In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10, we tend to think that the man in need of help was the neighbor, but Jesus states that the Samaritan, an unlikely person, was the neighbor because he extended mercy and grace towards the man who was beaten by the bandits.

 

Today, I urge you to stop asking who is your neighbor and begin to ask, am I the neighbor? There are many people around us who are in need of neighbors who would share a word of hope. So let us Reach out those who are in need of healing. Restore them to their God-given destiny. And Release them to be a neighbor to others.