You probably grew up watching Sesame Street on TV. It’s a long-running PBS show (and has recently been in the news concerning budget cuts). For many of us, Sesame Street was our first encounter with letters and numbers. We loved watching Burt & Ernie, Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, the Count, and Oscar the Grouch. There were lots of other puppets, too… and even some real-life people.
We sang along with the songs sung by the characters who lived on Sesame Street; one of those songs asked the question, “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” The song answered the question as puppets introduced us to the postman, the firefighter, the man at the market, etc. As the song closed, it summarized the definition of who a neighbor is – “They’re the people that you meet as you’re walking down the street; they’re the people that you meet each day.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines your “neighbor” as ‘someone in close, natural proximity to yourself.’ Jesus defined who our neighbor is by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. Your neighbors are the people who live in your neighborhood… the people you should be meeting – and having conversations with – on a regular basis.
Your neighbors are your most immediate mission field.