Who Is Your Neighbor?

Sunday, July 14

7-14By Dave Brown, Presiding Bishopric

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

—Luke 10:36–37

I always thought if I ever lived the Good Samaritan story I would play the role of the Samaritan. Then, in 1977, I lived the role of the man left beside the road in need. I had not fallen into the hands of robbers but was caught in a flash flood in midtown Kansas City.

The flood submerged my car and left me and five others stranded. It was 9:30 at night, and none of us knew how we would get to our homes as we stood in a dark parking lot in front of an abandoned building.

Then, all at the same time, five Samaritan cars pulled into the parking lot. Each driver, after learning we were stranded, agreed to take one of us for help. Because I was the youngest, I agreed to stay in the parking lot until the others got safely away. I waited 10 minutes, wondering what I was going to do. Then another Samaritan car pulled in.

The driver saw me along. As he came closer, I noticed he was of a different ethnic background, just as in the scripture. As I stood there, wondering whether he would show mercy, he stopped and asked if I needed a ride. As I got in his car, I saw a clue as to why he did not hesitate to help. On the front seat was a well-used Bible.

James “did likewise” and took me to his home and cared for me until a friend could pick me up at 3:00 the next morning.

Through this experience I realized that ending the suffering of others is a natural way of sharing in the mission we have been given by Christ.

Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, when faced with another’s suffering, may we take on the role of the Good Samaritan. When we face trouble ourselves, may we show out gratitude and praise you for those who show us mercy.

Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Let your mind be drawn to places where people have no homes. Think of refugees, whose homes were destroyed by war or natural disaster. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind.

Offer a prayer for those who are suffering. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will “Go and do likewise.”

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