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Rev. Peter Greiner

Sun 5 Aug

We often hear stories of Good Samaritan performing acts of kindness to people in need. It could be an off duty nurse coming to the aid of someone who has collapsed on the footpath due to a sudden heart attack. Or an individual rushes into a burning building to save a life. Perhaps you have a story of where you have been able to act as a Good Samaritan, or you have been on the receiving end of an act of kindness shown to you. The original Good Samaritan story is a little different to how we see Good Samaritans acting today. We have a lawyer looking for a loophole in the law when it comes to who he should help. “Who is my neighbour?” And this lawyer thought he was being quite smart because he had already told Jesus that two of the most basic laws he had already kept – love God and love your neighbour. And so he was thinking Jesus would give him a pat on the back for loving the neighbours he had helped. Instead, Jesus tells the story of a man in need, and only a Samaritan stopped to show mercy. Such a redefinition of who he was to love did not sit well with the lawyer. Jews looked down upon Samaritans. In their eyes the Samaritan would not act with kindness. Is there someone you look down upon and you are certain they would not be capable of acting with kindness? You may be in for a surprise. Remember how Jesus acted with kindness toward you?