Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Witness of the Laity: Voluntary Evangelist's Day
V36”Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
This Sunday is observed as Voluntary Evangelists' Day. Believers interested in evangelistic and intercessory activities used to assemble periodically for prayer and fellowship, which resulted in the formation of the Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists’ Association. The main motto of this organization is that every Marthomite should be a Missionary, irrespective of one’s profession in secular life.
On this special day we meditate on the parable of the Good Samaritan. The whole narration of this parable is centered around the question, 'Who is my neighbor?', which is quite relevant even today. In the contemporary 'New Normal' situation the understanding of the term 'neighbor' itself is different. The Internet / cyber world increasingly dominate our life and the virtual world is fundamentally changing the way we behave as humans. 'Neighborliness' is measured not in terms of space / distance. Now the other is only a mouse-click away from us, even if he / she lives in another continent.
Cold conformity to law could never take the place of warm compassion. The Priest and the Levite in this story, were considered the most righteous of the Jews. Yet they were too busy to show love to their fellow Jew who had been beaten by robbers. The priest and the Levite, for whatever reason each had, this need was overlooked. They had important work to do in the temple and could give no time to help this man in helplessness. But for the Samaritan, it was compassion motivated by love resulted in showing mercy on the Jew who had been robbed. He took complete care for the injured man. He treated his wounds, took him to an inn and paid all his expenses. This is what it means to love your neighbor. Therefore let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in Truth (I John 3: 18). The Samaritan identified the needs of the stranger and had compassion on him. He rearranged his plans just to help the one in need.
The lawyer was looking for minimal obedience while Jesus was looking for absolute obedience. The Central issue is not determining who one's neighbor is, but being a good neighbor to all. The Lord Jesus spelled out very clearly the point of the story, 'You go and do likewise'. In this pandemic situation, let's ask the question: Am I a good neighbor? Do I behave like a neighbor?
O Lord help us to become good neighbors to the one who is in need beyond space and distance. Teach us to love not with words but in action and truth. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Right Understanding should lead us to right action.
Rev. K. E. Geevarghese, Kuttapuzha Jerusalem MTC
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church