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Sunday Devotion: 14 July 2019, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

See how those Christians love THE other

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Main readings: Amos 7.7-17; Psalm 82; Colossians 1.1-14; Luke 10.25-37 [Deuteronomy 30.9-14; Psalm 25.1-10]

Supplementary readings: Psalm 19; Colossians 2.16-23; Amos 5.14-24; Psalm 25.1-10; Luke 9.37-50

“But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.” (Luke 10.33)

I was born in The Sudan when our neighbours from the north of the country brought destruction and death to my area in what became a long-running civil war where both sides did terrible things to each other. Now as a new country of The Republic of South Sudan, the promised peace and hope have been replaced by the mistrust and dislike of neighbouring tribes, aided by modern weapons, again bringing death and destruction to each other.

In many Bible translations the reading from Luke’s Gospel for today is titled ‘The Parable of the Good Samaritan’. The implication of this title is that Samaritans were not expected to be ‘good people’. In Biblical times, Jews and Samaritans had lived in neighbouring territories for a long time and had come to mistrust and dislike each other.

Even in this blessed land of Australia there are stirrings of mistrust and dislike to neighbours who are different or ‘other’ than ‘us’. Are we being ‘Good Samaritans’ to those who are different and yet, like us, are all descendants of Adam? Do we really love our neighbours as ourselves, or do we stay with our ‘tribal’ mistrusts and dislikes?

It is a challenge for every generation to offer the helping hand without need of repayment and if we do, people will truly say, “See how those Christians love THE other.” Jesus will smile if we can.

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