26 August, 2009

True Neighbors; Luke 10:25-37

In the 10th ch. of Luke, we are given the Parable of "The Good Samaratan"; Jesus tells us of a man who happened on a road with robbers who beat and robbed him, then left him lying on the road. Jesus tells of a Priest who comes by, but passes on the other side, and a Levite who does likewise; then a Samaratan that actually stops to help him.

When we look at this story, something kind of leaps out at me: two Church leaders pass by to the other side to make sure not to be near him, and a man considered to be less than human stays and tries to help! One might consider the two religious leaders to be the ones who need to be thought less than human, because of their lack of human compassion, and would probably be correct in thinking so, but lets look at these men:
The men of their position did not just get up on Sunday morning, shower, shave and dress in their finest for the Worship services; quite the contrary: they were required to go through weeks and even months of preparations for worship, because it was not just their clothes but, their entire mental and spirtiual preparations that had to be dealt with and would have been jeopardized by just touching this man! Had they gone so far as to bend down to help and tend to his wounds, they would have had to go through the whole process of getting ready for Worship again. The Samaritan had nothing to lose by stopping and giving this man the aid he needed; they weren't allowed into the worship services anyway, so what did they have to lose? A little time? Their time wasn't worth keeping, much less keeping up with, so....what?
To paraphrase: The Church Leaders were ready for Church and could not be bothered with helping people, Church was more improtant! The Samaritan looked at himself and said the samething everyone else did: I have nothing, so I have nothing to lose!
Are we so entrenched in "church" and the things we do at "church" with the people we do these things with, that we can't stop long enough to help someone in need; that we have too much at stake? The Preist and the Levite spent a great deal of time and effort getting themselves properly prepared for Worship of the Most Holy God, yet, it was the Samaritan who was in the correct place for worship; He was the one that took the time to help one of God's own children, and did not stop to count what he would lose: Thus HE was the true neighbor, not the church leader.