Scripture Reading: Luke 10:25-37
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ –Luke 29-37
When did we get so scared of one another? Is it still a carry over from 9/11 fifteen years later? Is it a reaction to having too much knowledge of the world about us with our easy access to instant news? I usually eat lunch with the noon news in the background that most often leads with a report of a shooting or robbery or car chase that had occurred the night before. I sometimes wonder if I prefer to live in the oblivion of not knowing the realities of our world today.
One of the lessons learned from living in tornado alley is there is relief, but no joy in the storm’s path changing course and missing one’s own home for it will most likely hit someone else’s. There is not much that can be done to avoid natural disasters. Storm shelters protect life. Early warning systems are crucial as is well-organized responses to damage.
The storms we face from our fear of one another are not the same as natural disasters. Based on human failings, they seem to be beyond our understanding. To conquer them we must face them. Ugly as they turn out to be, we will never eradicate them until we demonstrate a willingness to deal honestly with them. These failings are as old as time, and we are not the first generation to be caught in their web. We need to learn from our ancestors in faith who did not deal with them well and the ones who did. We need to trust that God in infinite love will provide the answers that we need if we open our total beings to God’s guidance. Like the story of the Good Samaritan we may need to determine if our religion is getting in the way of our hearing God’s leading us in the ability to love like Jesus loves.
Prayer: Lord, make us mindful of our own limitations in fully loving each other. Show us the way to rise above our fears and enter fully into your grace in building a world ruled by love. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.