Chapter Ten Tuesday, December 7, 2010
[For many this date will be a reminder of Sunday December 7, 1941 when the invasion of Pearl Harbor changed the world forever. We pause to give thanks, to remember those who served, and to pray for those who are currently serving for the cause of freedom.]
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’
He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’
‘You have answered correctly.’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’” Luke 10:5-28
Do you know any ‘experts’ in religious life? Not professional Christians but folks who believe they have all the answers? The expert who brought the test question to Jesus was trying to create a stumbling block. Maybe Jesus would answer wrong so the expert could rightfully say, “A-ha! Got ya!”
In fact, when you read the rest of the story you discover that the expert was not really satisfied with the answer Jesus provided. The probing test was extended with a follow up question. So who is our neighbor? It may be the folks next door. Perhaps the people down the street. Or even the citizens of the next community or country. Who is our neighbor?
In response, Jesus shared a parable. We call it the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Does it ring a bell? Read it once again and then ask yourself, who is my neighbor and how shall I respond? Will I be satisfied to drop a few coins in the Salvation Army kettle? Is there some other way to make myself available? Do I really need to go the extra mile? In what areas of my life do I demonstrate mercy?
Here is the key question…do we demonstrate mercy because it is the ‘Christmas’ thing to do or because it is the Christian way of life that has captured our soul?