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Love of God…Love of Neighbor

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“You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.”
–Luke 10:27

Besides the words and teachings of Jesus, the person who probably had more to say in words and actions about loving God and loving neighbor was the late Fred Rogers, who was the host of the preschool public television series Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years. In addition to being a television personality that put on his signature cardigan sweater before each show, Mr. Rogers was a musician, puppeteer, writer, and ordained Presbyterian minister.

You probably remember the words to Mr. Roger’s theme song, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The words say, “I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you! I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let’s make the most of this beautiful day; since we’re together we might as well say, would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?”

By encouraging children and adults to be good neighbors, Mr. Rogers taught many life lessons about love, kindness, acceptance and caring for each other. Mr. Rogers once said, “When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.”

May we take time in this week to be intentional about accepting ourselves and others the way we are and sharing our love of God and one another in our words and our actions.