From the Deacon’s Desk
Rebuild - Restore - Renew
“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
In the fourth promise we make in the renewal of our Baptismal Covenant, we come up against those age-old questions, “Who is my neighbor? What does loving my neighbor look like? What if I don’t want to risk getting involved?”
Jesus, of course, tells us in the parable of the Good Samaritan just who our neighbor is: it is anyone in need, anyone who is suffering from any kind of trouble, anyone who is in a situation or circumstance that we would not like be in ourselves. He also tells us just what loving my neighbor looks like, and it really not about you.
The Samaritan, you may recall, comes across a man, presumably a Jew, who has been robbed and beaten and left for dead. The Samaritan would not have been expected to help the man lying at the side of the road and should have passed him by just like the priest and the Levite did, not only out of a fear for their own safety, but because Samaritans and Jews had contempt for one another. However, the Samaritan did stop because he was moved with pity. He sees a fellow human being, a fellow traveler, made in the image of God, lying in a pool of his own blood, and he takes pity, he has compassion on the injured man.
Now the irony of parable is that although Jesus asks the lawyer at the conclusion of the story, Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? and the lawyer who asked the question answers, The one who showed him mercy, they are truly neighbors of one another. The Samaritan was a good neighbor to the man who had been robbed because the Samaritan considered the man who had been robbed, the Jew, to be his neighbor. So, your neighbor is anyone who is suffering from any kind of trouble, anyone who is in a situation or circumstance that we would not like be in ourselves, it looks like over-the-top concern and consideration, and it’s what you would like done unto you. “Go and do likewise.”
By Grace Through Faith