Find a quiet place, put your earphones in, and pull out a pen and paper. Ensure you won’t be interrupted or distracted for the next few moments.
Take a few deep breaths before beginning, and allow your body to be at ease. Recognize that the Lord is with you. Give thanks that he is near.
Our world is captured in this moment by the effect of overt and systemic racism. The public, and grotesque, murder of George Floyd brought sharp attention to the daily impact of racist action and of racist inaction on the lives of racialized minorities, particularly Black Americans. In this moment of heightened clarity and attention, it is important to pause and spend some time with the Lord in self reflection. Listening to his Spirit, and allowing him to search our heart and minister to us. Perhaps to convict us of sin. Perhaps to heal our hurting hearts. Perhaps to move us to action. The Lord is persistently inviting us to learn from him. To experience his extravagant love for us, and to learn to love more like him.
Listen to that invitation now as sung by Maximilian.
Read the following passage slowly. Let the words wash over you as you lean in to hear Jesus speak. A cultural contextual note of importance: at that time in history, Jews disdained Samaritans because of differences in ancestry and religious practice. Jesus, a Jew, is speaking to a Jewish audience, which is why this story would have been so disruptive.
Luke 10:25-37 (ESV)
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Sit with the passage for a moment before moving on. Allow the Holy Spirit to draw your attention to words or phrases.
Here are a few reflection questions to ask yourself slowly. Don’t rush to the next question before truly pondering the first.Take the time to think on each question and perhaps even slow down enough to write the answers in a journal.
As you read the story, which character did you identify with the most? Why?
Perhaps it would be meaningful to imagine yourself as each character.
- Take a moment and imagine being the person who is robbed.
- As the thieves descend upon you, engage your senses: What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste?
- As you lie helpless, and yet aware that people are passing you by, how do you feel? What do you long for?
- As someone kneels to help you, cleanse you, and carry you to safety, what emotions come to mind?
- After recovering, imagine meeting the priest who walked by. What would you say to them?
- After recovering, imagine meeting the Samaritan. What would you say to them? Can you identify how Jesus is that person in your life? Talk to him about how he has saved or is saving you. What does he say to you?
- Take a moment and imagine being the priest or Levite.
- As you approach the man lying on the side of the road engage your senses: What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste?
- As you walk by, and the scene moves behind you, how do your feelings change?
- As you look around your life, is there any injustice that you are walking by?
- Take a moment and imagine being the Samaritan.
- As you approach the man lying on the side of the road, engage your senses: What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste?
- As you engage the wounded man, what are you thinking? How do your feelings change?
- As you look around your life, is the Lord bringing to mind any injustice he is asking you to approach with healing? Are there any resources he is leading you to access that would help you become more aware of injustices around you? Is the Lord bringing to mind any person or people that you could love like he does?
Read the passage through one more time.
Pay attention to how it lands on you this time. Has something changed? Was something reinforced?
Listen to the song again, and invite Jesus to teach to love more like him.
Written by the Spiritual Care and Development Team.