Love your neighbour as yourself

Some of you may have seen the film ‘It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood’ – it came out last year, when going to films was still a thing!

It is about Revd. Fred Rogers, who was a Presbyterian minister in America and a much-loved TV star.

On Twitter yesterday Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg wrote beautifully about his life and work, talking about how it was based on the original commandment from God in Leviticus 19:18 ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ which we know also from the Gospels and the letters in the New Testament.
Danya wrote: “But the entirety of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and his ministry, can be summed up as:
Cultivate empathy.
Be curious.
It’s ok to have hard feelings.
And most of all, love your neighbour as yourself.

She goes on, “I think this is all a theological stance. About who we are, and who God is. I believe Fred Rogers tried to love each and every one of us the way he believed God loves each and every one of us.
I believe he saw his job as looking with a loving, empathetic eye at another and saying, as God did to Adam in the garden, “Ayeka?”
Where are you?
And that his job was to wait patiently for, and to make open space for, the answer: Heneni. Here I am”

We may not have realised, when it began, that 2020 was the year when we would need all these things very much:
The abitlity to tolerate our hard feelings and live with them,
The need to love our neighbours as we love ourselves,
but this is the year and this is what we are being asked to do by God.
How are you today?

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