Talks: Love Your Neighbour

Contributed by: Phil Trotter, Diocese of Christchurch

A message on Jesus’ command to “love your neighbour as you love yourself”, based around a reflection on the video, “The DNA Journey“.

Depending on how easy it might be to engage your group, either start with the pop quiz introduction (below), or just settle them and say, “Watch this,” before playing the clip.

Pop quiz Introduction (optional)

Ask: “Can anyone tell me which are the two greatest commandments?”. If the group are up for it, follow with, “Where do we find these verses?”

Look up Mark 12:28-34 and Matthew 22​:36-40 and have someone read each passage out loud.

Show ‘The DNA Journey’

​’Love your neighbour’ is one of the simplest and clearest teachings of Christ.

It’s a teaching that most people in the world ‘get’  – we all see it as important. “Yeah – love your neighbour – that’s good, isn’t it?”

Yet, it’s one thing to believe in your head, “love your neighbour”; it’s another thing to actually put it into practice.

And when we look around we see that, don’t we? Although the majority of humans would say “Yes!” to love your neighbour, our world is not at peace. People hate, people bully, people are selfish, people hurt & reject & judge others.

Because there’s something in us that gives a nod to love, but still likes to think we’re better… than them.

God wants us to get that we’re not better: we’re the same. Love others as you love yourself.

The people in that video had a great insight. They could see that ‘we’re all the same. Don’t judge. Love.’

But it’s so hard to stick to that. Without God’s help and without most of their friends and family getting on board, they will probably go back to the way they were.

This is what following God is about – inviting God to help us live what is right, to strengthen us to live out ‘love your neighbour’, and to join with a community of friends who can cheer us on and who are trying to live the same way. That’s why Jesus places the command to ‘love God with your heart, mind, soul and strength’ with the command to ‘love your neighbour’.

To love our neighbour and to be fully human, we need God in our lives.

Being part of [name your church] gives us the opportunity to see God’s ‘better way’:

  • to choose to follow God, and to have that community of support
  • to ask God to help us live that better way;
  • to become people who can live out what most people believe in – love our neighbour.

You might also like ‘Love the Lord Your God’ – Worship Stations