May I Draw Near

As you know I’ve been thinking about this concept of seeing….really seeing…seeing with the eyes and the heart of Christ.

We’ve been doing a sermon series on the Parables.  This week we talked about the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), a story many of us have heard a lot.  It’s a story that can become trite and regular if we let it.  Here it is:

“Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.* ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ 28And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ 30Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii,* gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ 37He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

I want to find it challenging.  I want it to be confrontational.  As a pastor-to-be, I want to never forget that in the story that Jesus tells, it is the religious people who “pass by on the other side”.  But the Samaritan came near.  First, he came near.  And then he saw and was moved with compassion.

This is my poem-prayer from reflecting on this powerful parable:

To Draw Near

May I draw near enough

to see Your image in the face of the stranger.

May I draw near enough

to recognize their frailty…frailty that reminds me of my own.

May I draw near enough

to see the brokenness they carry.

Having drawn near,

may I see a beloved child of God, a child in need of mercy.

Having drawn near, and having seen,

may I be moved with compassion.

May I be so moved that I reach out.

Reach out to show mercy.

Reach out to tend to their woundedness and pain.

Reach out to offer comfort and care.

Reach out to offer presence even if I cannot offer healing.

Reach out to risk love

Reach out to risk love as You loved.

Reach out to risk love even if it means following You to the cross.

May I draw near.