Saturday, February 23, 2013

The right side of the road

There are stories in the Bible where we all cheer the hero, go home rejoicing in what they have done, but then go back to our ordinary lives.  One of these stories is the 'Good Samaritan'. (Luke 10:30-35)

Jesus tells this story to show the difference between heroes and the ordinary;  the difference  between being religious or making a difference for God. The story describes how the Priest passes by, so does the Levite, but the Samaritan stops, loves, heals, gives, then goes the extra mile and says ‘Whatever else you need,  put that on my account.’
Before we give the Priest and the Levite a hard time, let’s think of ourselves.  Remember being in a hurry at the Supermarket and seeing the lady from two doors down who always has  problems?  Being in a hurry, you scoot down the next aisle, missing her in the checkout, then scamper home?  Yes, we have all done it!  Let’s think a little deeper about the text.

Why might we pass by?  Sometimes it takes real effort to care for the lost and hurting.  Sometimes, it is just easier to go to our praise services and home groups than grapple with the big issues. We need to remember our goal is not theology, or spiritual recognition. Our main goal is to be like Jesus!

What would cause us to stop?      In a word - Compassion! 
The Samaritan had compassion; Jesus had compassion for all those He met.  We need a good dose of compassion, if we are going to be real about meeting the needs of those around us.  We need to realize that we, the Church, are to be the salt and light, the glue, the spiritual glue that holds our decaying world together.  We have, through Christ, the ability to make a difference by our love.

To fuel this love, we always need a fresh revelation of the Cross, to realize that Christ didn’t die just for us, but for the whole world. This might be the attitude adjustment we need - to stop, care, listen, and love those around us. OK, perhaps we might be burned or misunderstood at times, but at least we will be on the right side of the road!

Bulletin 24 February 2013 available here