Even if you haven’t read the story, you’ve heard the phrase — Good Samaritan. The story is found in Luke 10:25-37. Four men are on a trip…traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho — 17 miles of road through a wilderness of rocks and ravines. In the twists and turns and caves, bad guys lie in wait for travelers. This road was called “The Way of Blood.” For one person on this day, it became more than the name of a road, stripped of all his clothing, he was beaten, bloodied, and left to die.
Two people pass-by. One stops. The good Samaritan. Martin Luther King said that Good Samaritan moments are defined by the questions we ask.
Those who pass by are those who first ask, “What will happen to me if I stop?” Those who stop are those who first ask, “What will happen to him if I don’t stop?”
Good Samaritans rarely say, “That’s not my responsibility.”
When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, it came as an asnwer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” That question was asked in response to an answer that Jesus gave to another question, “How do I find life?”
So when Jesus was asked, “How do I find life?” He answered, “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor like you love yourself.” That led to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” In other words, for whom am I responsible? Jesus said, that’s not the right question. The right question is not, “Who is my neighbor?” The right question is, “Am I a good neighbor?”
If I want to find life, I must love God and be a good neighbor — and if I understand Jesus parable, a good neighbor doesn’t define neighbor by proximity alone but also by need. A good neighbor loves to serve.
So on April 17-18, we are going to go out and find life. CityServe. We are canceling church and we are going to go out and serve our neighbors. Don’t say, “It’s not my responsibility.” On the one hand, it’s not true. On the other hand, you’ll miss life.
If you haven’t signed up yet, go to CityServe and register online.