Monday, April 6, 2009

Who is my neighbor?

Okay, the title refers to a trick question the religious leaders asked Jesus related to the command to "love your neighbor"; he answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

There are some other things I was thinking about posting today (did you know that if you got together with your neighbors and figured out how to live more efficiently by pooling resources and buying less stuff that this would be bad for the economy? What kind of a system is that?) but I think in view of the troubles ahead this is more important.

Over the next year, perhaps as early as this summer many of our neighbors are going to be in trouble because they have lost their jobs. Or maybe you will lose your job. I don't expect this to happen to me this year because I work for the state and so it takes a little longer for this sort of thing to occur, but it could happen to me next year.

Those of us who still have jobs need to take care of our neighbors who don't. There is enough food and shelter in this country for everyone, we just need to share it. The government will try to help people out but I think the size of the problem will overwhelm their efforts, so everyone of us needs to look around us and see what we can do to help.


Ted said...

Good thoughts Jeremy. I have thought along these lines for many years and now more than ever. As I see everyone in the neighborhood ..with a snowblower, chainsaw, table saw..and my own collection of stuff that only gets used once a year or less. Just pure silliness. Camping gear poles. Good China and everyday china....what's with that anyway? I am as guilty as anyone. All of us heading to and from work in cars by ourselves. Your comments are very real.
I am a project manager in the Oil/Gas industry. For most of the last decade money has been pouring from owner companies. Just 12 months ago ..if you were breathing and had any qualifications were hired. We have turned upside down now. My project client is letting go of all contractors tomorrow. I will go back to the parent office but already know not to expect much there as most projects are cutting back or being cancelled. Anything can happen and I am still employed but it seems the clock is ticking. Alaska oil patch has been behind the rest of the country but we are catching up now. I think your playing the right tune my gambist friend. Our neighbors and our church family will ..should.. become more relevant. It has occurred to me in recent months as I have been anticipating this that perhaps indeed God plans to bless us through this - not with material goods and blessings per say as much as with transforming us through the kind of love and interweaving your talking about. In weak moments I worry for my children but then I am reminded that God is not standing still. He still has design and intentions for my 3 sons. He does not promise that they will be wealthy and successful by the world's standards but - if they choose him - they will experience wealth much greater than any worldly treasure or comfort will provide. This is much easier said than lived. I want want ..knowing God to be my driving passion and satisfaction but I know some hard transformations lay ahead. I am I fear too accustomed to my comfort and self-centered life. I yield regardless knowing it is the best choice. End Pontification.

Jeremy said...

You said it Ted - much more eloquently than I could. I have similar thoughts about my kid's future; I know they can be happy without a lot of the stuff we take for granted but I worry more about their safety. Our church is having to come together right now due to a large turnover of staff (the Methodist church moves pastors around every few years, this is normal, but we also have some financial problems). So I think it's good that we're becoming a closer community because I think we 're going to need this if things get worse economically. Plus we should be doing it anyway! As you say this should really be a blessing.