August 20, 2015
Who Is My Neighbor?
Go and do likewise. Luke 10:37
Mary enjoyed her midweek church group meeting when she and several friends gathered to pray, worship, and discuss questions from the previous week’s sermon. This week they were going to talk about the difference between “going” to church and “being” the church in a hurting world. She was looking forward to seeing her friends and having a lively discussion.
As she picked up her car keys, the doorbell rang. “I’m so sorry to bother you,” said her neighbor Sue, “but are you free this morning?” Mary was about to say that she was going out when Sue continued, “I have to take my car to the repair shop. Normally I would walk or cycle home, but I’ve hurt my back and can’t do either at the moment.” Mary hesitated for a heartbeat and then smiled. “Of course,” she said.
Mary knew her neighbor only by sight. But as she drove her home, she learned about Sue’s husband’s battle with dementia and the utter exhaustion that being a caregiver can bring with it. She listened, sympathized, and promised to pray. She offered to help in any way she could.
Mary didn’t get to church that morning to talk about sharing her faith. Instead she took a little bit of Jesus’ love to her neighbor who was in a difficult situation.
Lord, help me to be ready at any time to be Your hands and feet to those in need.
Faith is seen in our actions.
Samaritans lived in the territory between Galilee (to the north) and Judea (to the south). Historically, they were Jews who, when conquered by the Assyrians, intermarried with their conquerors and lost their ethnic purity as Jews. For this reason Samaritans were despised by Jews who would not even travel through Samaria, choosing instead to travel around that land. This makes it stunning that Jesus would choose a hated Samaritan as the hero of this parable and an example of one who was a neighbor. Bill Crowder
After a battle with cancer, Marion Stroud went to be with her Savior on August 8, 2015. Since 2014 Marion has been writing devotional articles for Our Daily Bread which have touched the lives of readers around the world. Two of her popular books of prayers, Dear God, It’s Me and It’s Urgent and It’s Just You and Me, Lord were published by Discovery House. As an international author and writing mentor, Marion worked as a cross-cultural trainer for Media Associates International, helping writers produce books for their own culture. She has been an encourager and role model for writers for many years and will be mourned by hundreds of friends around the world. Marion is survived by her husband, Gordon, and their five children and sixteen grandchildren.