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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

16 July 2014: Gwen Peake, United Reformed Church

Good neighbours

It is often said that variety is the spice of life, and indeed what interest would there be in life if we did not puzzle, ask questions and search different avenues seeking answers?

Jesus of  Nazareth proved a skilful revealer of truth to many who sought answers to eternal values. They came in various ways, some in sincerity, others seeking to twist His words.  Lawyers tried to trick Him with their knowledge of the law.  One such questioner asked "Which is the most important commandment?" thinking that He would quote the negative laws of Moses - 'Thou shalt nots'.

Jesus replied in the positive "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all they strength; and the second is likewise Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself".

We might well say "Who is my neighbour?"  Not necessarily someone next door that we have known for many years, but like the good Samaritan who helped and cared for a stranger.  It is our privilege to stop by the wayside to lift up those who are fallen and those to whom a little kindly touch will help along life's pathway.  There is often a price to pay for our actions.  The good Samaritan paid the innkeeper for the needs of the man he had picked up by the road side and even offered to call on his return journey to pay anything further that was due.  Often when we assist, it means a little diversion, a little inconvenience and sometimes we are not even appreciated.  But then, of course, the helping of our neighbour should not be done with an idea of a reward but realising the words of Jesus "love thy neighbour".

How appreciative we are of those good folk in our town who give their time as representatives of the Neighbourhood Watch.  They are always on call, available and prepared to assist in any situation.  A classic example of 'loving thy neighbour'.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 16 July; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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