"What is written in the Law?" He replied. "How do you read it?"
She answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself."
"You have answered correctly," Jesus said. "Do this and you will live."
But the American church wanted to justify herself, so she asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply, Jesus said:
"A Syrian Muslim was fleeing from oppression, going from Syria to Europe, and being hunted by jihadists. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and left him poor and starved and half dead.
A fellow Muslim was nearby, and when he saw the man he passed by on the other side, fearing that he might also be hurt.
So, too, an evangelical Christian, when he came to the same place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a German gay man saw the situation, and saw the Muslim and took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. The next day he invited him back to his apartment--where he had previously aided 23 others left beside the road. As he went to work, he told his partner, 'Look after him, and when I return I will handle any extra expense that we may incur.' "
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the Syrian who was driven from his home by jihadists?"
The American Church said, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go, and do likewise."
A prayer for the American church today:
"Father, may we who sit in privilege and wealth, hear Your word clearly today. May we not so value our security, our comfort, and our freedoms that we refuse to follow Your word. May we not fear men who can only take our lives, and instead fear the God who is truly in control. May we--as You demand again and again--be the ones who open our arms widely for the hurting, the poor, the refugee... not only helping if we deem it safe, because we know that following You is often not safe, yet it is right.
God, may we remember Your anger in Malachi, which equates "casting aside the foreigner" to occult worship and adultery. May we not forget that our kingdom is Yours, not America, and our allegiance is to doing Your will, not 'protecting our land'.
May we, the American church, fear Your displeasure far, far more than we ever fear for our own safety."
Encouragement for further reading:
- Luke 10:25-37
- Luke 12:4-5
- Matthew 25:35
- Leviticus 19:33-34
- Exodus 22:21
- Malachi 3:5
- Deuteronomy 27:19
- Hebrews 13:2
- Zechariah 7:9-10
- Ezekiel 47:22
- Jeremiah 7:5-7
- Deuteronomy 10:18
- Deuteronomy 26:5
- Exodus 23:9
- Isaiah 16:3-4
- Psalm 94:3-6