I’m going to go back to what I love during this Lenten Season…taking photos and highlighting the beauty in the everyday, the sacredness of all that is around us, and in doing so, finding God in his creation.

I’ll be using Diana Butler Bass’ Grounded: Forty Day Devotional as a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this 40 day journey back to Immanuel, God with us.

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“All of the world’s religions make neighbors the central concern of spirituality and ethics. Love of God and neighbor are absolutely intertwined. . . If we understand that neighborly relations are woven into divine love, then we can grasp that God is . . . a near- dwelling God. We know God through our neighbors.” (Grounded, p. 197)

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It’s so easy to say, love your neighbor. For the most part, we all can say, we love our neighbor. It’s fairly easy to do from the comfort of our pew on Sunday or from our favorite chair at home. Easy as we send our checks or electronic payment to (fill in your favorite charity here.)

As we talked about yesterday, we rise to the occasion in the midst of tragedy, loss, and sadness. It’s in the everyday, ordinary moments of our lives that loving our neighbor actually becomes a tangible thing.

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Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37–40

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I love what Diana says here, “The call to neighborliness is not a call to dwell safely in gated communities, but instead it is a call to go over fences and boundaries and treat other human beings with dignity.” Those gates aren’t always literal, they are often times found and supported under the guise of religion, politics, race, sexuality, etc..

Our neighbors are those we don’t like and those we love, those we disagree with and those with whom we have everything in common. They are religious and atheist, gay and straight, black and white, Muslim and Jew, Republican and Democrat, Christian and Mormon, man and woman, and on, and on, and on.

We need to remember that God is all things. All ground is holy ground, all water, holy water, the skies are a holy space, and our neighbor is sacred, and to be loved as we love ourselves.

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Today’s Prayer:
“Forgive me for not loving my neighbor as myself and help me
to practice neighborly compassion when it is most difficult.
May I remember that love for others is intimately bound with divine love.”
Diana Butler Bass