In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-36), Jesus is answering the question, “who is my neighbor?” From this point forward, we’ve been dissecting the relationship of neighbors across the last two millennia.
Everyone on the earth is part of our family. If you follow the flow of history back to the pastoral tale of creation, we all end up with Adam and Eve as our ancestors. I don’t have evidence to the contrary and it’s what the bible says so I’m going to stick to it. God created the heavens and the earth, created humans, and even gave us the ability to understand and comprehend the science we have before us today. Most of us agree that the differences in the appearance of our physical bodies are only related to the expression of our genetic code, in addition to the environment, diet, stresses, and community that we have experience on a day to day basis.
Simply put, our bodies are nothing but a different combination of the same ingredients. Don’t believe me? Dig into the education section of genetic ancestry-testing websites. Apparently, they are getting pretty good at identifying, via DNA testing alone, people who are fifth cousins that possibly live on different continents!
So, I want to make the argument that we stop quoting the second half of the greatest commandment as, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and instead say, “love your human family as yourself.” Not because I want to change the Gospel to my liking or to claim I have some clarity over the intention of Christ in this moment of teaching, but because our neighbors ARE our human family. If the translators of the Common English Bible felt justified in changing “the son of man” to “the human one” I think I’m in a safe space to change “neighbor” to “human family.”
815 million of our human family are chronically malnourished. We live in a time and place of amazing abundance. Believe me when I say the earth produces more than enough food for everyone. The problem is not a production problem with earth so much as a passion problem of its inhabitants.
I want to invite you to love your human family who suffers from chronic malnourishment. Join me in putting the means of grace to work by Fasting, Praying, and Giving to end hunger. Fast one meal each week. Simply skip a meal. Pray during the time you’re not eating for God to be deeply involved in your life to end the hunger of others. Then Give what you would have spent on that meal. We’ve made it easy, you can go to FastPrayGive.org and signup to receive a weekly email inviting you to pray and fast, and automatically give $8 per month via a debit or credit card which we use to help feed one other person in the developing world. Learn more at FastPrayGive.org