The 8th Sunday after Pentecost

As I began to explore the very familiar story of what has been called “The Good Samaritan,” I began to think about how we make decisions in our lives. It is the familiar story of a man who had been assaulted and lying motionless in the road. Two Jewish leaders of that day make the decision to walk passed him while a third person, a Samaritan, has overwhelming compassion and stops to help. Did the priest and the Levite have some important place to go on time? Were they afraid that if the man were dead and they touched him they might be considered “unclean” and unable to perform their temple functions? Were they afraid that it might have been a trap with bandits waiting for their pause in their travels to attack them and rob them? What questions might have gone through our mind at a time like that? Yet for an ordinary man, a Samaritan, considered an outsider by the Jewish people of that day, to suddenly be filled with compassion, ignore all the problems and potential dangers with stopping on the route certainly represented for Jesus the true meaning of being a neighbor.

The prophet Amos in the Hebrew Scriptures speaks about how God has placed a plumb line in our midst. What exactly is that plumb line? How do we make decisions in our lives? What do we measure and evaluate our decision making…against what standard? This question has great relevance for the issues facing us both individually and nationally as we move forward in our lives. I will look forward to having us focus on this matter in our time together on Sunday. See you then.

Very Best Wishes,

Rev. Bob Skidmore