Pastor Greg starts a new series this week about how to be a better neighbor to the people in our lives. He shares Jesus’ perspective on Good Neighboring and it doesn’t involve fencing each other out.
…There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.” Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder if I could put a notion in his head: “Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence… He will not go behind his father’s saying, and he likes having thought of it so well He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.” – Robert Frost
Actually Good Fences Do NOT Make Good Neighbors
… ‘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 foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus says the entire Bible can be boiled down to two far-reaching ideas.
Love God and Love Other People.
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. – Luke 6:31
“Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” – Benjamin Franklin
We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1) How do you feel about the old adage “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?” Is that always true, never true, sometimes true?
2) What do you think Benjamin Franklin meant by “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.”? Do you agree or disagree with that sentiment?
READ: Matthew 22:37-40 and Luke 6:31
1) How does your view about fences between neighbors mesh with Jesus’ teaching here?
2) What does Jesus mean by “love your neighbor as yourself?”
READ: Exodus 20:1-17
1) As you go through the ten commandments, can you group each of them into either the “Love God” or the “Love People” category? Which ones go into each category? Do any of them not fit into one or the other?
READ: Matthew 5:43-45 and James 2:1-9
1) Sometimes we feel like we need a fence between us and some of our neighbors while we are not as worried about it with other neighbors. What makes the difference for us?
2) We have a tendency to hold some people at arms length. We have a tendency to treat some people with respect and other people we don’t show much respect to. Based on these passages of Scripture, what would Jesus’ view of this be?