Go and do likewise . . .
"Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.' "
We know this parable of the Good Samaritan all too well. We grew up learning the Golden
Rule and learning this story through Sunday School. It is perhaps also the most quoted and commonly used parable from our New Testament scriptures to emphasize Jesus' commandments of love to all Christians.
Jesus isn't content just to define what "neighbor" means. He commands us to do as the Samaritan does, to show mercy to our fellow man who is in need.
Are Christians to be "do-gooders"? Yes, I suppose. But our motivation for doing good must be love for others, an interest in meeting their basic needs, and a heart of mercy that is moved by compassion.
I must ask myself, what we -- as disciples of Jesus -- are supposed to learn from this story. And for me the answer is to examine my own heart. What motivates me? How much have selfishness and a dogged adherence to my own agenda leached away the mercy that Jesus holds dear and wants to flourish in my heart through his Holy Spirit? I may be efficient, but am I merciful?
When "push comes to shove" do I put myself first, or do I put the needs of others first? I think of the words to the song, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last"
For me, Jesus' command, "Go and do likewise," means that I must value acts of mercy over personal productivity. What does it mean for you?
All this comes back to the Greatest Commandment to Love God and love our Neighbor as we would love ourselves. Remember, LOVE is an action verb and requires us to find ways to exhibit and be that love in the world.
Go in Peace to LOVE and serve the Lord....
Blessings and encouragement to all....
P.S. Just a reminder that our services this Sunday (July 10) will include the Litany of Healing and will include special prayers and the laying on of hands for healing followed by the celebration of Holy Communion.