Chapter and Verse: Luke 10:25-37
The parable of the Good Samaritan will feature in the lectionary on 14 July this year. I am glad I am not scheduled to preach that day! What could there possibly be new to say on such a familiar text? We have all heard the sermon that goes: “Loving our neighbour means that when we see somebody in trouble, we should stop and help.” Possibly we have also heard the one that says: “Imagine the feelings of the Jewish victim having to accept help from a Samaritan! The parable isn’t so much about who we’re prepared to help as who we’re prepared to accept help from.” I’ve preached both of those.
But the sermon that haunts me just now is the one that says: “How many times do you carry on patching up broken victims from the ditch before you do something about the crime situation on that road?” I’ve preached that one too!
We are in the midst of the most serious economic crisis to hit our country for 70 years. Everywhere I travel around the United Reformed Church I encounter congregations that are joining up with ecumenical partners to sponsor food banks, night shelters and debt counselling services. Some of our churches are really at the sharp end, with resources being cut to projects while the need keeps escalating. As Christians we dig deeper and try harder. But in some places we are very tired. Though they are often afraid to say it, good people are wondering how much longer they can carry on.
This is an extract from the April 2013 edition of Reform.