Thursday, July 12, 2007

    The Good Samaritan

    Amsterdam Notebook, originally uploaded by Ann Althouse.

    I'm preparing to preach this Sunday on the parable of "The Good Samaritan." I thought I knew this story well....perhaps too well as I was less than enthusiastic about dealing with this tired old chesnut. But in my exegetical study of the text, it has done what all of Jesus' parables do: thrown me for a loop and turned my expectations of the story upside down. I had always assumed that when Jesus tells the lawyer to "go and do likewise" he was referring to the compassionate act of the Samaritan. This is indeed a perfectly fine reading of the text. But this time, I heard something completely different altogether. What I hear Jesus telling the lawyer to do is go and be like the man in the ditch! Be willing to receive help/love/compassion from God in whatever way it may come. And be prepared for it to come in unexpected places, at unexpected times, and from the most unexpected sources! What have been those unexpected encounters with God for you?