Mar 14, 2013

But I Don’t Like Them (you)

There, I said it. I used my rights to say whatever I want to; after all I am an American. And as an American, I can pretty much do what I want. I don’t have to help everyone; I can go my own way and do my own thing.

I can drive past the homeless, and those people who stand holding signs begging ME for MY money. After all, as I stated before, I am an American and I have rights. The Constitution says I do; or at least I think it does because I (like so many Americans) have never really sat down and read it word for word to understand what it really says.

Or do I really have the right to not like everybody?  Who says that I can simply ignore those who are not like me?

Even the Statue of Liberty has words that contradict an attitude of “they are not my problem!” On the statue is a plaque that goes something like; Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…”

As long as they are not immigrants, right?

What if we have got it wrong and we ARE supposed to care for each other? I’m not saying that all of us will know how to do everything or are even supposed to do everything. BUT, we are ALL called to care.

A verse in the Bible that has been cutting me to the core as of late are the words that the lawyer who stood up and tested Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” In the passage, Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ And Jesus said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28).

The verse that cuts me to the core when I ponder it was what the lawyer said next;  But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29  NKJV).

I like how Eugene Peterson puts it; “Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?” (Luke 10:29  MSG)

Jesus responded to his ridiculous answer by telling the infamous story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35).

At the end of the story, Jesus drives home His point by asking; “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And the lawyer answered Jesus and said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Still think that we have a right as Americans not to care? As Christians, we definitely do not have that right.

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

The Message (MSG)  Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


No comments:

Post a Comment