Jetlagged from my sixteen hour flight from China, I get a call that our newest addition is having serious behavior issues. Our home group is scheduled for Saturday, along with basketball, homeschooling work piling up, and this article was due five days ago.
Seasons past weren’t this hectic. In fact, there were days when I would sit quietly in my seeming, invisible bubble of Christianity, reading the Bible for literally five hour at a time.
I appeared holy on the outside, but inside I knew I was missing something. I never helped anybody, and only filled my mind with knowledge, instead of making my hands his instruments in some real, tangibly way.
The Good Samaritan stares up at me, this morning, Jesus parable about how to live our lives, ministering and loving other people. (Luke 10:30-37) A man goes from Jerusalem to Jericho, falls among robbers who strip him from his belongings and start beating him.
But then, by coincidence, a priest and Levite, both separately, pass this man lying half-dead on the side of the road. When they notice him, both pass by on the other side, never stopping, never doing anything.
But then, along comes the Good Samaritan, who did a few specific things;
And I am reminded how easy it is to live in a bubble as a Christian. We can judge the priest and the Levite, but truth be told, wouldn’t it be easier to live like them, never seeing the pain, never stopping for anybody hurting along the way?
I mean, how many of us have walked past a need, pretended not to see a situation, we knew God was presenting to us? How many have made excuses, blamed time or business, or simply wanted to keep our own agendas, so we failed to cultivate an open, willing, Samaritan-like heart, stopping for the one He called us to minister to?
I used to be the queen of control and rigidity. I used to love my day structured, plan out every detail, keeping under my thumb some kind of resemblance of power and control. But in reality, more times than not, God calls us outside our comfort zones, He asks us to step outside the camp, to meet some need that we, in and of ourselves might find it impossible to take care of.
A few passages early, Jesus preaches, “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.” (Luke 10:27)
The Samaritan gives us excellent examples of how to love well, our neighbor as ourselves. He refused to live his faith in a bubble:
Loving people isn’t always easy or convenient, especially when there can be jetlag, dead lines, and behavior issues, but doesn’t all great things always often cost us something?
Let’s pop the bubble of safe Christianity; seeing, feeling, touching, sacrificing, spending, and investing in other people, because that when healing comes…
And the church begins to live the gospel, just like Jesus intended.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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