Sunday, July 14, 2013

Putting the Good Samaritan story into practice

Putting the Good Samaritan story into practice. This afternoon we stopped the car near Winchelsea for a ten minute rest, and then the engine wouldn't kick over again. Cars did stop to help but they didn't have jump leads. Phoned a son, phoned RACV and waited and waited. A busy country road - we were returning to Geelong from Colac. We knew it was a battery problem. Our mobile phone was going flat by then after a few calls. Then a Good Sam arrived. A family returning from a holiday at Port Fairy. Offered to use their mobile to hurry up the RACV who just hadn't turned up after nearly an hour. Then said they would wait with us until RACV arrived. Invited us to sit in their 4 wheel drive as it was very cold but we were okay.  Mum and Dad setting a good example to their three children in the back seat. Nice family indeed. RACV man came and it took two minutes to get the car going again! Today's lectionary text was the Good Samaritan and Peceli led the Uniting Church service at Colac this morning. The following was in their church newsletter.

Who is my neighbor?

The story Jesus told in response to the question, ‘Who is my neighbour’ was set in the context of life in Palestine in the days of Jesus when the recognized leaders were often fussed about their own rules but uncaring about people’s needs. That a Samaritan man would be the one who helped would have shocked the listeners.

In Australia today we still have care for the stranger as a way of life and this ethic has been handed down through the Christian Church. The stories differ from the parable told by Jesus and often the ‘care of the stranger’ is done by government, by professionals, by volunteer organizations.

What are some of the organizations who put into practice the idea of being a good neighbour to others?

Here are some of them: Jirrahlinga, Wombat’s Wish – for bereaved children, DoCare, Meals on Wheels, Lifeline, Bethany, Red Cross, Glastonbury, Hand on Learning, tutoring new migrants, Bravehearts, Anam Cara, Legacy, Diversitat, and of course volunteers in fire-fighting like the CFA and other Emergency services.

So the story of the Good Samaritan has far-reaching consequences in our world today even though many people do not realize that the message came from a parable told by Jesus Christ to a group of people two thousand years ago..

However there are still times when the personal decision to notice a person in distress and to take time to help is a priority.

For us the main issue is one to one relationships, take notice, pay attention to other people, discern when it is the right time and place to talk with them, be silent at times and listen attentively. Like our Saviour Jesus Christ, take notice of people who are alone, on the edge of society, different, not welcomed by others, and like Jesus. speak to them, give them comfort whether in words or in action. That’s the message from the parable of the Good Samaritan.

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