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The Good Samaritan.

Lessons on How to be a Good Neighbor in the Midst of Racial Tension and the Need for Racial Reconciliation.

Read Luke 10:25-37.

1. The Good Samaritan didn't allow the past dictate the present need. Historically, Jews and Samaritans had a very racially-charged past and contextual narrative that could block or prevent them from helping one another, being a good neighbor, or a friend. But this did not keep The Good Samaritan from tending to the wounded Jew on the side of the road.

He did not allow their racially-charged past prevent him from helping a neighbor in need. What neighbor's need could use your help addressing in today's culture in spite of a tumultuous history or past?2. The Good Samaritan led with compassion over criticism. When bandaging or addressing the Jew's wounds, we never hear The Good Samaritan ask, " Why did they rob you? What did you do to deserve this? Did another Jew do this to you?" He allowed compassion to lead over his questions, critiques, or skepticism. In today's culture, how can we allow our critiques and criticisms take the backseat to our hearts of compassion and need to love and serve like Christ?

3. The Good Samaritan extends his grace and hospitality beyond the encounter on the road. The Good Samaritan moves the Jew to an inn, continues to nurse his wounds and even pays his inn tab.

In today's culture, how can we promote healing way beyond our initial encounters and continue work towards racial reconciliation in our hometowns and communities? Can grace and compassion be continually shown, and love in action frequently extended? Yes. The answer is always, yes.

The Good Samaritan is another story and illustration for how we are to see one another despite our racial pasts, constructs, differences or shortcomings. For us to see that race and racial tension is nothing new under the sun; and that God's plan to deal with it then, still works today -- to love your neighbor as yourself. And and the the end of the story, Jesus gives us our charge to do the same, "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10: 37 NIV).

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