8th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: St. Luke 10:25-31
One hot North Carolina afternoon, a family is going home from a family outing. Then they came upon 2 Native American teenagers selling watermelons at a 4-way crossing.
They stopped to get a melon. They immediately started to barter about the price. After several unfruitful tries with no luck…
…one of the teenagers stated, “Sir, these are the only things we have in this world.” The man was so touched with the words of the teenager tears appeared in his eyes and began to run down his cheeks. They bought all the melons the boys had.
In a movie, the interaction between these 2 white men in their 30s and these 2 young native boys would not look like that.
This is a good example of a story about who my neighbor is.
Luke 10:27 reads that we must love the Lord our God with
· all our heart
· all our being
· all our strength
· all our mind and love
· our neighbor as ourself
Our scripture for today tells us the story of the good Samaritan who stopped to help a bleeding and beaten man left on the road to die.
As one views this scripture, one is told that our neighbors are not just the person who lives on either side of us, nor the person who crosses the street, nor the one who lives behind us.
ALL of these are our neighbors. Any of us should be ready to reach out to anyone who needs help.
One side of my family tree has a real problem with alcohol.
A cousin at age 18 or 19 was arrested by the Illinois state police in 1957 for driving 100 miles an hour, seeking to get away from it all. He was fined and classified as a drunken driver.
Another, my own brother, became an alcoholic. Praise God that today he is a dry alcoholic, but he is still an alcoholic. His drinking took its toll on his body, and at 84 years old he struggles daily with his health.
· A man who beats his wife and children
· Another one who abuses his little children
All these and countless of millions of others are a serious problem to our social environment, yet each one of them is our neighbor. We must help them any way we can to correct their addictions.
Like our Lord, we need to reach out to these individuals.
All too often, the good Christians in our world don’t see or sense people with these social problems as neighbors, and we either fail to reach out or flatly refuse.
Our Lord has reached down to see and touch each one of us.
Likewise, we need to reach out and embrace each one of these people with the same love and compassion and concern that Jesus gave to each one of us.
All too often the church’s population stays safe and secure within the confines of the church structure.
God, help us and forgive us, for we have almost completely lost Christ’s ministry of searching out and reaching real needs of others who so desperately need to be understood and loved.
Anyone who would lower themself to aid the suffering like our Lord Himself did as a suffering servant, dying for each and every one of us, offering each of us forgiveness. We need to do the same.
For all humanity is the offspring of the church of Jesus Christ.
Let us pray!