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Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Good Samaritan

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[December 29, 2011]   --"Jesus replied, ĎA man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him."-Luke 10: 30-35

The parable of the good Samaritan is familiar to many of us who have spent even a small amount of time in the church. The point of the parable is basically this; we are called to love our neighbor and everyone is our neighbor. It is the last bit that makes things the most challenging. It is easy to love people we like; to love people who treat us well; to love people who need help we can easily provide. It is another thing entirely to love people who don't meet those categories, like most of the people in the world. This means that being a Christian is, as we now know, hard work.

But consider this for a moment. There are over 2 billion Christians in the world. More people are Christian than any other religion. If all of us, and certainly all of us in the United States, applied this teaching of Jesus', if we saw all people as our neighbor, what might the world look like. Most of the problems in this world are rooted in an absence of love, an absence of empathy, an absence of compassion. Most of the problems exist because there are too many levites, too many priests. With this in mind, we would be wise to consider how we might live, how we might act, to turn the tide. None of us alone can chance the world, or alleviate the suffering of our fellow humans, but each of us has the opportunity to be a good neighbor in our own daily lives.
Each of us can be more aware to the issues and needs of others, and in so doing, we can begin to sow the seeds of peace, love and hope.

Prayer: Holy God, help me to serve you better, and to be a good neighbor. Help me to recognize those who are in need, and give me the wisdom and strength to serve them. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

 

[text from file received from Phil Blackburn,

First Presbyterian Church]

 

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