Daily Worship

Loving your neighbour as yourself

November 02, 2017 0 0
Image credit: M Lunan

Leviticus 19: 15-18

15 You shall not render an unjust judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbour. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbour: I am the Lord.

17 You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbour, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

In the Old Testament, the rules for living in community are spelled out - no injustice, no slandering, no coveting, no bearing grudges, and they are as valid today as they were more than 2,000 years ago. The health of communities then, and now, depends on these laws being kept. 

Jesus is seen to reiterate these on many occasions;  and he does however widen the goalposts when he answered the pharisees’ question, Who is my neighbour? They would be shocked to discover that the Samaritans - their enemy, and whom they considered unclean - were now to be considered to be their neighbour.  We don’t need to look far to see injustice, and grudges both at our local level and at a global one. My neighbour is the refugee, the person who is different from me, the person I find difficult,  and the challenge for us all is how we take these ancient words of Leviticus, reshaped by Jesus, and make them real in our world today.


Open our eyes Lord 

to see where we profit at others’ expense.

Open our eyes Lord

to show us when we covet, or slander, or make unfair judgements.

Hard words for us to hear, but even harder to live;

and impossible, unless you truly are our Lord and Master.


Open our eyes today Lord

to what lies hidden in our heart

and to what stares us in the face.

Give us the courage to name it 

and to submit to your command,

to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.