THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: How well do we know our neighbours?

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A few years ago I was on a coach journey.

I could not help overhearing the conversation from a couple seated behind me. They were discussing the family stresses of a broken relationship.

Suddenly I realised they were talking about their favourite soap opera characters. I was reminded that, for many, the soaps do provide a talking point. They can be seen as company for those who live alone. For others the soaps are a means of escapism.

There are those who pride themselves on the fact that they do not neighbour. There are others, however, who are thankful for their good neighbours.

Without their neighbour’s help they would not be able to live alone and retain some degree of independency.

In the Gospel of Luke, the question is asked of Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?” The answer Jesus gave can be summed up like this: We must be prepared to help others even if they have brought trouble upon themselves.

Anyone from any nation, who is in need, is our neighbour. The help must be practical, not just feeling sorry for someone.

We might ask ourselves whether we know our ‘soap neighbours’ better than those who live nearby.

REV JENNIFER PARK

Superintendent South Holland Circuit,

Minister for Broad Street and St Thomas’s Road Methodist Churches, Spalding