Luke 10:30-35 (New Revised Standard Version)
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’
In my small city back home in Virginia there is a large community festival called the Peanut Fest, where everyone comes together to celebrate the closing of the peanut harvest for the season. For miles upon miles there are tons of games, carnival rides and haunted houses. There are tables packed with farm fresh goods which are positioned beside an army of food trucks that provide as many fried Oreos and turkey legs as you can eat. I remember one year when I was about 9 years old, I became sick from riding roll coasters all day long with my loving daredevil cousin, who lived for the adrenaline rushes provided by the fastest and tallest rides in the park. One night at the fest my father saw how tired and sick that I had become, realizing that I was struggling even to continue walking. In that moment he reaches down, picks me up and puts me on his shoulders to carry me the rest of the way. When I was too tired, too sick, too weary, I had somebody who cared enough for me, who loved me enough in that instance to reach out his hands, to carry me and to assist me when I needed it the most. It was then when I realized that help was on my side.
This was the same exact lesson that Christ was trying to convey with the story about the Good Samaritan, what when someone requires our time, resources and energy that we should always be willing to extended it. In Luke 10 when this man who was traveling to Jericho had been brutalized by robbers, barely clinging on to life there were those who had overlooked him. The priest nor Levite offered him any assistance which caused me to ask the question, what happens when people see you are in need of support and all they do is pass you by? The Samaritan was the only one willing to step forward to care for him, not to receive anything in return but because he understood that serving someone else rather than ourselves is the greatest gift that we can give. Had he not appeared, if compassion did not strike his heart in the moment, this man wouldn’t have made it through the night.
We are all called to exercise in the earth kindness, justice and mercy. One of the goals that we all should have in this life is to always be a helping hand. It is our responsibility to care for the poor, to ensure justice always prevails and to let the world know that God’s love is available to us all. We cannot afford to be like the priest or the Levite who turned a blind eye to someone who was in need and crossed over the suffering of someone else in haste to get where they were going. Yet we should be like the Good Samaritan, striving every day to be a blessing to all whom we may come across.
Thank you for choosing to be a hand that helps not only our student population but also our faculty and staff. Your gifts of support are sowing seeds that functions as examples to our students of how important it is to always give.
Director of Faith & Service