Favorites (from the old blog) Posted by Bill H on January 7, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Let us re-imagine the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
The landscape is a land divided and Jesus is hard to find. The priest is now a pastor in a well-known, evangelical church nearby. The Levite has become a CEO of a large and well-known parachurch organization specializing in helping the widow and the orphan. The man riding on the bicycle is the person who sits next to you in the pew on Sundays, but he sings loudly, more often than not off key, and he raises his hands during prayer, and more than once you have heard him pray, forgive me Lord for I am a sinner (of course none of these identities are intended, explicitly or implicitly, to be reflective of any one or any group, and may be more reflective of the various logs in my eye).
As you are walking down a quiet street in your town you come across a man, lying on the side of the road, bloody and beaten, groaning, and you see a sign on him, “This man is gay, and the judgment of God has fallen on him.” As you watch, you see the pastor walking down the street. He sees the man, and kneels by him. “Son, you are in pain and dying. Confess your sin, and repent, and let Jesus take away your sin.” The gay man raises slightly, gasps, and says, softly yet clearly, “No!” The pastor rises and walks away, muttering, “Lord have mercy on his soul.”
Next you see the CEO come by. He kneels and says “Son, you are in pain, let me help you, and after you are healed, let me get you into a program useful for ex-gays.” The gay man raises slightly, gasps, and says, softly yet clearly, “No!” The CEO rises and walks away, muttering, “Lord, have mercy on his soul.”
There comes down the street your neighbor from church – the one who sings off key, raises his hands during prayer, and who prays forgive me for I am a sinner. As you watch, your neighbor bends over to help the man, and a Cross on his chain falls out of his shirt. The gay man rises slightly and sees the Cross. “Do you want me to confess and repent?” “No,” you hear your neighbor say. “Well, will you help me only if I go to a program?” he asks. “No,” you hear your neighbor say. “Well, what is your condition?” he demands.
“I want to help you, and I will take you the hospital. I will visit you while you recover. When you are out I will take you to my house while you rehabilitate. We will share meals and I will introduce you to my friends,” you neighbor answers. “Ah, then you will try to convert me!” the gay man responds, “no thanks.”
“Well,” your neighbor says, “I admit I don’t understand your life style, but you are welcome at my table, and to join with me and my friends. We love to tell stories when we meet. We talk about a man who came, was crucified, and rose again. A man who ate with sinners. A man who didn’t ask about your sin but welcomed all to drink of the living water. We all get thirsty but I can ask of you nothing more.”
As you watch you see your neighbor pick up the gay man and carry him to the hospital
Is this what He died for? He died for you and me, dead in our sins, to restore us to love God and to love our neighbor, regardless. The hope that sustains and is eternal is here today.
Be Blessed and then be a blessing.