Do you know the story? It goes something like this: A person is beaten and left by the side of the road. Two people saw the poor guy, but pass by on the other side of the road. A third person stopped, bandaged the hurt person’s wounds. and helped with his recovery. The story ends with a question, “Who was the better neighbor? The ones who didn’t do anything, or the one who stops and helps (Luke 10:25-37)?” The answer, of course, is the one who helps. He was a Samaritan.
Usually, the moral of the story is seen as being that we should help people who are in need. It is a good lesson, but I think that we can see more in it than that. Samaritans were from Samaria. Samaria was an area to the north of Jerusalem. Nazareth was in the same area. Now, who do we know who was from Nazareth? Jesus was from Nazareth.
What if we see Jesus as the Good Samaritan? If we see the story this way, then it is not just about how we should help others in need, but about the very nature of God. The Samaritan helped, not because the hurt person deserved it, but because his heart broke for the one who needed hlep.
Jesus cares, not because we deserve it, but because his heart breaks when we are beaten and left. I see this as good news because not only are there people in our community who feel beaten, but there are times when I feel beaten. We are all in the same boat. We are broken people in need to mercy. We help others because God has first helped us. We help others because we are living in the example of Jesus, reflecting the very nature of God.
Why do I tell you this story now? Well, we are fortunate to live in a community full of people who care. This weekend there are a number of events going on to help people in need. You can read them about them in the pages of this Gazette. Please find out more about opportunities to support the Jeremiah Tree, the Red Cross Shelter, and the Emergency Shelter at Christ Episcopal Church. These are just some of the ways we can follow the example of Christ by being merciful to someone in need.