On Monday nights, about 15 of our members have been gathering to examine passages from Lukeâ€™s gospel that particularly speak to Jesusâ€™ call and mission for his disciples. At the beginning of October, we will be in Luke 10:25-37, examining and mining the parable of the Good Samaritan for instruction from Jesus about what it means to be a neighbor and who we should consider our neighbors. In the parable, if you remember, a man, beaten and robbed, is dying on the roadside, and both a Priest and a Levite (Jewish religious leaders) passed by, but carefully avoided the man and continued on their way. It was a Samaritan who stopped and invested his own time and resources in helping the man to safety and healing.
The Priest and the Levite, no doubt, had reasons for passing the man by–reasons that had to do with their roles as religious leaders and their adherence to purity laws. It wasnâ€™t that they completely lacked compassion in general, perhaps, but that they were more concerned about keeping the law and remaining pure than they were about a fellow humanâ€™s life. By sharp contrast, the Samaritan not only stopped to check on the man along the roadside, but he willingly scrapped his own plans for the day, carried the man to safety, and paid for his care.
At the end of his parable, Jesus asks, â€œWhich of these three was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?â€ (v. 36) The lawyer questioning Jesus had to answer this way: â€œThe one who showed mercy.â€
In the past week or two, we have had a lot of folks who acted like neighbors, as people reached out to folks affected by the storm. Some of these neighbors came from out of state before Florence made landfall and stood at the ready to respond as soon as they were needed and could get to work. Some were folks who volunteered at shelters and offered spare rooms to folks who had to evacuate. Some made phone calls and visits to check on people in their neighborhoods. Some passed out bottles of water. All were neighbors who gave of their own time and resources for the sake of someone else.
This month is a good month to pay attention to the folks around you–those affected by the flooding and the storm and those who have always been there, in need. Who can you act as a neighbor toward? Who is need of your time and your resources? How can you show mercy?
Grace and Peace, Pastor Becky
P.S. We have room for you at Bible Study on Monday nights! Join us from 6-7:15 in the fellowship hall.