“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Serving Christ boldly . . . by looking out for my neighbor
Teaching in Lutheran high schools for many years, I’ve noticed a few things. One of those things is that ever since cell phones became popular, school hallways have become more dangerous. And why?! Because as students would put their heads down to focus on their phones on their way to the next class, I would regularly see kids running into someone . . . or something in front of them—with books, papers, and bodies falling to the ground in the process.
This truth is a microcosm of life, isn’t it?! We become so consumed by our own lives, our own priorities, our own wants and desires, that there is no time or energy left for others. The apostle Paul helps us with this struggle, reminding us in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Christ’s love compels us. It reminds us who we are declared to be by his grace alone. It reminds us what is ours because of his mercy on our sinful selves.
Christ’s love also motivates us to look up from our own lives and to be concerned for the well-being of others. Find time this week to read Luke 10. Marvel at the Good Samaritan who helped his neighbor who really wasn’t his neighbor at all. Learn from the mercy he showed a complete stranger in his time of desperate need. Then find joy in hearing Christ say to you, “Go and do likewise.” That’s what “serving Christ boldly” is really all about.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, there is so much pain and suffering in the world around me. There are those near and dear to my heart—and those who I barely know—that need a shoulder to cry on or someone to turn to in their time of need. Give me wisdom, O Lord, in dealing with these situations. Guide my words and actions, that I might share your goodness and strengthen others through the power of your Holy Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.