Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 10:25-37
Text: But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (vs. 29)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan, well known in Christian circles and maybe even in other traditions. It has almost passed into the area of “folk religion”. The set up and the parable have so many things to teach us. First, there is Jesus’ reminder that salvation is not about what we do but what God does for us. This is a hard lesson for we who prefer the call of rugged individualism and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” to the Unconditional, Unmerited Grace of Jesus. But the most important point in the reading is the question of neighbor; “Who is my neighbor?”
Years ago one of the bedtime stories that I would read to my daughters was a little Happy Day Book entitled “Who Is Your Neighbor?” On one of the pages the unknown staff author wrote: “Who is your neighbor? A neighbor is someone who needs you.”
As I look around the world I see a “heap of hurt out there.” Followers of Jesus cannot be content with “what is” if they are really going to take Jesus seriously. He once said that His followers would do what He did and greater things because they had the Holy Spirit and each other. We are challenged to touch the life of needs us.
So often we are overwhelmed by the complexity of the world around us. The challenge seems so great, and we seem e so small. But whenever I think this way I remember Jesus’ lesson of the mustard seed. The Kingdom of God starts small and by the generous grace of God grows to impossible heights. Today, plant a Kingdom mustard seed. Read to a child who has no one to read to them. Take time to listen to someone who is lonely and has a story to tell. Let someone into your lane of traffic. Soon you will be doing “greater things.”
Lord God, give me eyes that see my “neighbor”. Whisper to me what I should do. Direct my path. Let me recognize Your Presence at the end of the day. Amen.