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a reminder for a familiar parable

by on June 10, 2016

IMG_0577A little while ago, Sam learned about the story of the Good Samaritan at both his pre-school and in Sunday school. He really liked it, so he’s been asking to read the story in his kids’ Bible. We were reading it again the other night
as we were getting ready for bed, and so, as we’re praying in the dark our conversation goes something like this:

Me (praying):…and help us to show love and kindness to people who are hurting and need someone to be kind to them. Amen.

S: Dad, you forgot the important people who walked by.

Me: …oh, okay. And help us also to be kind to the people who don’t show kindness to others. Amen.

S: You forgot the people who were mean, and took all the money.

Me: And help us to be kind to the people who are mean and take all the money.

Now I don’t know if this is something they talked about at his school, or if he was just naming all the characters in the story, but in this brief interaIMG_0578ction he reminded me a fundamental truth about God’s love and grace. It’s for the good guys and the bad guys. The robbers and thieves, the hypocrites and self-important, the wounded and beaten down, the oppressors and the oppressed, the kind and the caring.

Jesus shows love and compassion to a blind man, talks with him, and restores his sight, and then in the very next story, shows love and compassion to Zacchaeus, the wealthy, abusive, swindling tax collector. And he doesn’t demand that Zacchaeus reform his ways, give back all he has stolen before he invites himself into Zacchaeus’ home. It’s right away. (Luke 18.35-19.10).

Father, forgive us for the ways we disregard those with whom we disagree. Remind us that our enemies are not your enemies. May we show love to our neighbors, the hurting and mistreated, the indifferent who just walk by, and bandits who are mean and take all the money.

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