- The Ministry of Reconciliation
My Bother's Keeper
It would seem that the adage of our time is “mind your business”. You do you, and I’ll do me. But isn’t this contrary to the ideals of the Kingdom of God? Afterall, isn’t my brother my business? Isn't my sister’s welfare my concern?
In answering the scribe, Jesus of Nazareth taught that the two most important commandments were to love God and love the neighbor as yourself. In other words, the well-being of my neighbor is indeed my business.
We are apparently trading in the adage of the Kingdom of God, loving your neighbor as yourself, for something built on the shallowness of human emotions. Instead of helping one another, we have instead chosen to make enemies and competitors out of each other. Where we could be supportive, we have instead so distanced ourselves from one another that we can’t relate.
Most of us would like to think that we would be the ones to stop if someone was hurt and in need of help. But as we work in our cubicles, run to our coffee shops, hairdressers and barber shops; how many of us, in the hustle and bustle of our day can spot the sister that is in distress, or the brother at the point of a breakdown?
In Luke 10, Jesus tells a story of a man who was robbed and hurt while traveling. Many who saw that man casually passed him by, leaving him wounded and alone. They may have called themselves neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters, but they’re actions proved otherwise.
In 1 John 3 we read, “but whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
The scriptures make it clear that there is no love unless it is expressed and made manifest through action. The Lord did not call us to get involved only when issues directly affect us and are convenient; but rather, we are called to give an assisting hand to whomever, whenever, and wherever we have the means to do so.
We are meant to worry about, pray for, rebuke, and sacrifice for one another and not just the ones who treat us well. Those so-called enemies may be nothing more than brothers and sisters who are lost and caught up in the pain and trauma of living in a wayward world.
In Genesis 4, when the Lord questioned Cain as to the whereabouts of his brother Abel, Cain replied, “Am I my Brother’s Keeper?”
Well, if we are to believe Jesus of Nazareth, the answer is a resounding YES.
We are our brother’s keeper.