I am jumping back in with a Five Minute Friday post. Every week over at fiveminutefriday.com, writers from around the world write for 5 minutes straight with no edits and share what they have written.
This week’s writing prompt is “neighbor.” The first question that pops into my head is: What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself?
When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan, he is essentially telling a teacher of the law who is trying to “test Jesus” that a Samaritan (a people group hated by the pious religious teachers of Israel) could follow the law better than self-righteous religious people. (Lk 10:25-37) It is full of contextual understanding of Jewish law that I cannot go into, but shows that the most pious, in their piety, chose to follow the “law” over showing mercy.
And this is good and was important at the time.
I feel that right now, we Christians could take a lesson from Jesus’ lesson.
But a slightly different one.
I can’t help but note just how far the Samaritan in Jesus’ story went to show love to a wounded man on the side of the road.
After Charlottesville our country has erupted with cries against the alt-right, racist, anti-semitic groups like Nazis and KKK. And rightly so.
But I can’t help but feel we as the white church may feel self-satisfied and justified in these words against racism. That now we have done our part.
That we have tended to the wounds of the man beaten on the side of the road in Jesus’ story, but left him there, crippled and unable to care for himself.
As it says in James, we have done little more than blessed them and said “go in peace.”
The Samaritan man who loved his neighbor as himself not only provided first response care, but he brought him to a “hospital,” paid for his room and board, and promised to pay more if needed.
This Good Samaritan made a personal sacrifice in his show of love. An investment not only into the wounded man’s survival, but recovery and life.
It is easy to speak words that are accepted by society at large. It is harder to get in the trenches and fight on the behalf of those who are at risk by the systemic racism in our society. Racism we don’t see because we are the privileged ones who can choose to not experience it at any given moment.
May we learn something from this Good Man and love as Christ loves our neighbors around us. Yes, even as much as we love ourselves.