PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS
Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”
“I imagine that the first question the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But … the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
Martin Luther King
Choosing to grow and change—even when it makes us uncomfortable—is key to our spiritual growth. One specific way that our Christian faith calls us to grow is to risk getting involved in helping others, even when it makes us uncomfortable. In the well-known story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), the priest and Levite chose safety when they chose to not help a man who had been beaten and robbed. Only the outcast Samaritan man stopped, not only to help his neighbor where he lay, but also to take him to an inn and pay for his stay while recovering.
As individuals, and as Christian communities, God calls us to risk leaving our comfort zones to help those whom life has thrown in a panic zone; to leave our ‘comfortable pews’ and help those in need. Jesus was always risking getting involved with those whom the society at his time judged unclean, often enduring the harsh criticism of the religious leaders of his day.
Loving our neighbor, especially when it makes us uncomfortable, is not easy. When it comes to living out this central commandment of our faith to love our neighbor who is alone, marginalized, discriminated against, and hurting, may we pray for the courage to be like the Samaritan and not the priest and Levite, both in our individual lives and in our faith communities.
Have you ever found yourself blessed by a Good Samaritan who reached out to help you in your need? Where is God calling you or Knox Waterloo right now to in order to help others? Will we have to move out of our own comfort zones? Let us pray that when called upon we will not react like the priest or the Levite, but rather like the Samaritan.