WEDNESDAY’S WORD – NEIGHBOR- 07/11/18 -Sadell Bradley – New Life Covenant Cincinnati

Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

 

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests  
a pure love for his neighbor.”
– Venerable Bede, English Clergyman  

 
It’s a beautiful day in the 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…”    
 
Caught you singing it!

 

There’s a documentary in theaters about Mr. Rogers, the beloved character so many of us grew up watching, called, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to. Did you know that Fred Rogers was an ordained minister? He used his platform, a children’s program on PBS, so effectively to bring a more loving and Christ-like tone to our culture – particularly in difficult times. Rogers was a close friend of renowned Cellist, Yo Yo Ma. He said Rogers helped him navigate fame. Mr. Rogers told Ma that fame was not necessarily a bad thing and mentored him on how it could be used for good in the world. Ma’s son, Nicholas (above), is the producer of the Mr. Rogers documentary.     

 
Mr. Rogers’ message is perfect for the times in which we’re now living. He was a beacon of light who consistently demonstrated respect, empathy and esteem for his neighbor. A NEIGHBOR is a person living near or next door. In  Biblical context a neighbor is any person in need of one’s help or

 

kindness. A neighborhood is not just a community within a town; it’s the neighborly feeling you have about those in your sphere and your conduct toward them. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is the second greatest commandment. He said that it’s just as important as the first, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”  (Mark 12:30-31) We, like Jesus’ disciples, struggle with loving anyone outside of those that love us, are like us, or believe as we do. (Matt. 5:46-47). We’re no better than the world, and we ask the same qualifying question they did,“Who is my neighbor?” 

 
To answer this, Jesus used the worst possible relational scenario: two cultures whose hatred for one another was fierce and long-standing- the Jews and Samaritans. The Jews regarded the Samaritans as the worst of the human race. They were foreigners and idolaters with whom some Jews had inter-married. Priests had to be sent in to teach them God’s ways, but then it became religious mixture. Samaritans were considered half-breeds, and the differences seemed irreconcilable. When Jesus engaged the Samaritan woman at the well she was shocked because, “The Jews had no dealings with Samaritans.” (John 4:9) But Christ came to preach the Gospel of Peace to the very ones the Jews hated. He revealed through the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) that their perceived enemies were also their neighbors. There is potentially good in the ones we hate or fear the most, and Jesus intends to save us all. Mr. Rogers embodied this sentiment by bringing everyone: people of all cultures, boys and girls, rich and poor, able bodied and disabled into his neighborhood for friendship and love. So he asks us again, “Won’t you please? Won’t you please? Please won’t you be…my neighbor?”  

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ABOUT SADELL BRADLEY

ABOUT SADELL BRADLEY

Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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