Who is my neighbor?

by Pam Tinsley

Several weeks ago the Rev. Scott Gunn of Forward Movement reflected about the connection between our baptismal promises and the fires burning in the Amazon. In his blog post “Local Actions with Global Consequences,” he reminds us how the choices we make in our daily lives can impact people living halfway around the world. His thoughtful and thought-provoking blog points out that convenience and bargain prices come at a cost, whether it is the abysmal and dangerous working conditions the workers who make inexpensive goods are subjected to or the resulting environmental degradation that can have hidden and long-lasting effects.  We may be unaware of this, or we may choose to ignore it, but, as consumers we bear responsibility. As followers of Christ, we commit ourselves to much more than feeling responsible. We commit ourselves to making things right.

Gunn writes, “Loving my neighbors doesn’t just mean being kind to the people who live in my neighborhood. We say in our baptismal promises that we will respect the dignity of every human being, and surely that includes human beings I will never meet.”

Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission and Living God’s Mission strive to offer resources for living out our baptismal promises in daily life. The commitments we make at baptism call us to join God’s mission to make the world more loving and more just – with God’s help. Our baptismal covenant calls us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbors include all those who share our common humanity.