10 The crowds asked him, “What then should we do? 11 He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He replied, “Collect no more than you are authorized to collect.” 14 Soldiers asked, “What about us? What should we do?” He answered, “Don’t cheat or harass anyone, and be satisfied with your pay.” Luke 3:10-14, CEB
The final principle of neighborliness, again, according to the book An Other Kingdom, is the Common Good. Let me say upfront, we’re not talking about government or a political system or anything like that. We’re simply talking about the basic act of one person looking out for the good of another person. We’re talking about recognizing our abundance and seeking to pass that abundance on to others. A few days ago, we talked about the fact that there are people in our community who sometimes don’t have basic needs provided for, and when this happens, there are people who help address those needs. This is a simple act of refusing to buy into the idea of scarcity, and instead buying in to the idea of abundance, and thus creating a Common Good.
The factors from the first three days (abundance, mystery, and fallibility) all add up to create a Common Good when we prioritize these things in our lives. That, I believe, is the essence of neighborliness. When we have that, we have compassion, we have mercy, we have demonstrations of lives transformed in God’s image. I really believe that is what “heaven” might look like.