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Reflections

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March 2015 - A Modern Good Samaritan

Many years ago when I was motorcycling in a remote part of Scotland I found a fellow motorcyclist broken down beside the road and towed him to the nearest garage. The garage man said to me, 'You're a good Samaritan'. The expression 'Good Samaritan' is a common one that most people understand. It refers to one of the most famous stories Jesus told, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. This tells of how a Jew, travelling the dangerous road between Jerusalem and Jericho, was attacked, robbed and left for dead. Two people passed by and did nothing; but a third person, a Samaritan, stopped, bound up his wounds, put him on his own donkey, took him to an inn and paid the bill. Traditionally Jews and Samaritans were enemies, but the point of the story is that the Samaritan reached across racial and cultural barriers to care for a man in need. The Samaritan saw the other man as a fellow human being and reached out to help him, regardless of their differences. This teaches that love is about action, about practical caring, rather than about feelings. 

A splendid modern example of a 'Good Samaritan' is the young woman who set up an internet fund to help raise money for an elderly disabled man, who had been viciously attacked and robbed outside his house. She had set out to raise a few hundred pounds, but such was the national response that last week she was able to present him with a cheque for over £300,000! This will enable him to move safely away to a new home and has made the two people friends for life. The young woman saw the old man as someone in need and did what she could to help, with amazing results!

Every day we have a chance to be a Good Samaritan, a true neighbour to anyone who needs help. In doing so we can show that love is about actions not just feelings. When we do this we are obeying Jesus' command to be a true neighbour. 

As he said at the end of this famous story, ‘'Go and do likewise." 

Andrew

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