Today Jesus takes what could have been another legalistic argument, counting insiders and outsiders. Instead when asked “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus gets practical. Your neighbor is the person who treats you with dignity, who treats you with love, who treats you with mercy. You neighbor when you go and do likewise.
God’s Spirit falls on all the people the disciples would have despised. This movement of God is much bigger, and wider, and more beautifully diverse than Jesus’ followers could have imagined. God’s love knows no human boundaries. The early church was always playing catch up. That is the story of Acts, and that frankly is the story of the church today. God’s Spirit continues to invite us out beyond where we are comfortable, to join in the beautiful work of God’s expansive love. We are to receive the Spirit, and the people the Spirit sends us, as a gift.
What happens if we take Jesus at his word: “Blessed are the poor?” If we don’t subconsciously add “in spirit?”