Fifteenth Sunday

14th July 2019  

Who is my neighbour?  Luke 10.25-37

‘They beat him up, robbed him and left him half dead’…….   Some of the details of the parable could have been taken from yesterday’s newspapers. The fear of violence on the streets is a real one today just as it was in Jesus’ time.   So too is the phenomenon of passers –by just passing by. ‘I was mugged in full daylight and no one came to help me.’ 

Part of the genius of this parable is that we can identify with so much.. the street mugging and the fear of violence., as well as the indifference of the crowd. But by drawing us into the story it also questions our prejudice, in a way that sermonising does not. Who are the Samaritans in my life?  The outsiders? The strangers? The others? The non-persons? Who do I write off as unimportant?

Could today’s good Samaritan be a refugee or asylum seeker who has taken time to listen to us when nobody else would?

If Jesus had preached a sermon on ethnic prejudice, (a huge issue in his day) his listeners would soon have switched off as they withdrew into a familiar world of denial. But by telling the story of the Good Samaritan he pierced the denial and forced people to look with fresh eyes as they faced the question ‘Who is my neighbour?’

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