Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
Key verse: (35) “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.”
Reflection: This is the familiar story of the Good Samaritan — a parable used to teach us about loving God and loving neighbor. It is one of my favorite parables. The term Good Samaritan is part of our everyday language. We use this expression to describe “a compassionate person who unselfishly helps others” or “one who renders voluntary aid without compensation to a person who is injured or in danger.” Basically, Good Samaritans come to the rescue without being asked. Sometimes their actions are heroic, but most Good Samaritans don’t draw attention to themselves. They do what is right as part of their everyday lives.
Much has been written about today’s parable related to what it means to be a neighbor. For many in the Christian community, the care the Samaritan provides is a self-less example of mercy. We imagine this man staying with the injured one until he is well, addressing all of his needs. But, this isn’t what happens. The Samaritan draws others into the caring circle of compassion. He initially responds, then, he asks an innkeeper to help and, if necessary, obtain additional care for the man that he might recover from his injuries. The Samaritan started the care, but then he went on with his business promising to return later to follow-up. If we approached our care for each other in this way, no one would carry a burden alone. Others would be more willing to get involved, helping provide care. We wouldn’t experience compassion fatigue or burn out. We might even experience joy by sharing the love of God with someone else. During these pandemic days, I have seen people helping each other in new ways. People are connecting with one another, because they have time they didn’t have before. Even though we have been confined to home and safe activities more than we like sometimes, I have seen compassion and mercy increase. Many people are better neighbors. Is there someone you need to be a neighbor to today?
Prayer: Gracious God, break down the resistance to help another because we are afraid we will become overly involved. Remind us that everything doesn’t depend on our effort. You are the great “cure-giver” and we give thanks for your mercy and love. Help us show this love to others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].