Midweek Wake-Up, August 31, 2017
Walking through the story of the Good Samaritan as we did on Sunday, we see something that is often common to our sinful natures, questions we seek to justify ourselves before God. We might ask “what must I do, to get eternal life”? Kind of like what’s the least amount that I need to worry about for God to still love me? Or what can I or can’t I get away with? The second question, also asked by this man is “who exactly is my neighbour”? The attempt to justify ourselves in setting the defining borders for who we’ll love or who we won’t. To whom must I show mercy?
And Jesus tells the story we’re all very familiar with, the story of the good Samaritan. A story that assists us in realizing that we cannot define to whom we’ll show mercy. We cannot determine who we’ll love or won’t love. For the sake of time, I won’t repeat the story, for the majority of us know it. A man is beaten by thugs, a priest and a Levite (two men we think would have stopped) pass by, while the hero of the story, the man who stops, is a Samaritan whom was deeply despised. When Jesus asks the young man, who was a neighbour, he not even being able to say the word Samaritan, simply responds the one who showed mercy. And Jesus looks him in the eye, and simply states “now go and do likewise”.
Scripture does state that some of us have the gift of mercy, those that simply see the needs around them and respond. But this parable is told to everyone, and Jesus makes no mention of gift – he simply says, now you know what you need to do. Because there is no shortage of needs: be that visiting someone who’s sick, someone who could use a meal because of their situation, handing out food and coffee to homeless guys on Sunday morning, mentoring someone who’s walking through a difficult situation.
As commentator Darrell Bock states “neighborliness comes in all shapes and sizes. It is limited only by our failure to see, feel, and respond”.
This morning NSC, I pray we’ll see, feel and respond and in response, we will go and do likewise!!