Friday, December 21, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:36-40

Every year around December 20th, Dee and I have an annual Christmas get-together with a few of our closest neighbors.  This year as the month was flying by, we thought about maybe foregoing the annual tradition.  However, at about 12 PM yesterday we decided to go for it, and quickly made a few calls in hopes of getting us all together for dinner at 6:30.  We had one couple confirm, one politely decline, and another that confirmed after receiving our message about 3 minutes before the party was set to begin. 

About one hour later around our dinner table, I had to do everything I could to keep from bawling during the meal.  One neighbor told the story of a potential serious health issue he was having with test results due back in a week.  Another neighbor told the story of having to yield her driver’s license, getting ready to sell her home, and then soon thereafter moving into an elderly-assisted community. 

I had so many emotions running through my head.  I thought about that lost opportunity with Uncle Joe.  I thought about my last birthday party with my Dad and my Grandmother, and wondered if this was going to be our last annual Christmas get-together.  As the door closed with the final goodbye for the evening, I lifted up a prayer of thanks to the Lord for all the memories from this very special evening, and for encouraging us to make those calls a few hours earlier. 

May God bless you all this Christmas, and throughout the New Year ahead.  May it be a year filled with loving our great Lord and all of our neighbors.