10 Feb Why God Put Grace Community Church in Nashville, Part 4
Originally posted on July 3, 2008
Churches Are To Be Good Neighbors
God put our church in Nashville to be a neighbor to people. Jesus taught us that good neighbors bring His mercy to others in word and deed.
The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) has a surprise ending. A lawyer and Jesus agreed that to love God with the whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves is what is written in the Law. Evidently the lawyer didn’t love his neighbor very well. To justify himself he tried to argue over who qualifies as a neighbor.
Jesus told the story of a man who was beaten by robbers and left on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite passed by the man without helping him. Then a Samaritan stopped and cared for the man, taking him to an inn and providing for his needs. Jesus then asked the lawyer who proved to be the neighbor.
That’s an interesting question because the lawyer didn’t ask Jesus how to be a neighbor, but who was his neighbor. The lawyer wanted to know who qualified for his love. Jesus told him how to love. The lawyer recognized neighborly love in the mercy the Samaritan showed the disparate man. Jesus told him to go and do the same.
So, here we are with Jesus’ words ringing in our ears, “go and do the same”. We are to be neighbors who show mercy to others, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Every Sunday, the mercy of Christ’s cross is remembered in the preaching of the gospel and in songs of worship. Then, the church doors open and the congregation leaves the building to live in the world. As those who have been shown mercy, we show mercy in deed and speak of Christ’s mercy in words (Luke 6:36). That’s why God put us in Nashville.
This week, decide to show and share the mercy of Christ with someone.