Recently I’ve been thinking about the new Pokemon phenomenon where gamers all around the world capture creatures and use them to battle against one another. What is amazing to me about this game is in order to find them you have to GO to certain destinations where the Pokemon creatures can be found. It’s not a game you play while sitting in your your room, it requires you to GO outside. I find this idea ingenious! As my hubby and I go out to lunch or run errands we are seeing an increase of people on their phones everywhere! We don’t play the game (although our adult sons do), but it’s fun to watch others enjoying themselves. Because of this game, people who otherwise would not be interested in going outside especially in the Florida heat have increased their physical activity by walking or riding their bikes to local destinations. As a former fitness instructor and one who understands the importance of exercise and health, I find this idea to be quite amazing!
As I’ve watched this new trend in full swing I have also had this thought: What if there was an app that people can play and GO look for the homeless and poor in their area and help them. I recently shared the Good Samaritan story where Jesus taught in Luke 10:25-37 the correct meaning of what it means to Love our Neighbor:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
As I shared the app idea with my husband he said, “those who wanted to play or get involved would GO to the destinations where the homeless and poor can be found such as our local parks, churches and charitable organizations that provide food and services and help them…”.
You may be thinking – even if there was an app that one could play, what would be our reward for helping them? I’m glad you asked. Jesus tells yet another story, only this one is not a parable but it is going to be an actual event. Just as throngs of people gather to capture the PM creatures, all nations will be gathered together when Jesus appears (Matthew 25:31-46). This is a time where he will place the sheep on his right: those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, visit the sick and those in prison and those who provide shelter for those who have none; and say, “Come, you who are blessed of my Father and inherit eternal life…for I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and in prison and you visited me I was a stranger and you gave me shelter…if you’ve done it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you’ve done it to me.”
This my friend is the ultimate gem! To believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ and Love our neighbor and inherit the promise of eternal life because we chose to let our light shine. Because we chose to not allow our salt to lose its saltiness. Because we chose to Love our neighbor from a pure heart by helping them.
Love Your Neighbor – GO!