Gracious God and Loving Heavenly Father,
I want to be pure
in following you
obeying your commands.
I don’t want to be polluted by the world,
Can’t I just draw aside
or find more of your people
to be around.
Organisations with fish in their logo?
‘Doing church’ every night of the week?
Oh. Widows. Orphans. In distress?
Well if the widow is respectable,
and the orphan tidy and well behaved (though poor)
I could manage that.
But it’s easier
to do it at arm’s length.
There are agencies and charities
who are trained, experienced
who can do that sort of thing.
If I met someone in need
what if they smelled
or had a disease
or spoke weirdly
or were substance abusers?
I might have to get my hands dirty
or be delayed in my own journey.
I might even have to dig deep
and draw in others
and change my plans
to make sure they were ok
What if I didn’t really help
and they fell back
into another situation
what would be the point?
What if I were polluted
by a world
instead of being pure
and (sometimes) faultless
in following your law of love and grace?
What if I was the one to help
in their distress?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”