July 10, 2019
“Which of these three, do you think was a neighbor to this man who fell into the hands the robbers?” [Luke 10:36]
The parable of the Good Samaritan indicts good church people. At first the good pastor sees the individual in distress, but not wanting to get her hands dirty her eyes avoid contact and she walks by. Then a respectable church leader spots the individual and rushing to the next church meeting he avoids getting involved. What happens next surprises the first hearers of these words, because someone who isn’t even associated with church life, stops to help the distressed individual. And the help goes far beyond, “Are you okay?” The unchurched person expends her personal resources to bring the distressed man back to health. The question isn’t, “Who is my neighbor?” The question of this text is, “Who is the neighbor”? What does it take to be neighbor? It is not just living next door to someone. To be neighborly is to extend mercy and grace to another whether you know them or not. How might you be a neighbor to someone this week?
Merciful God, I confess that I am not always neighborly. I get so preoccupied with my own life that I often avoid those who need an encouraging word or maybe even more. Awaken my senses and convince my heart to extend your mercy to others. Amen.