I'm not going to church tomorrow because I yanked my shoulder and my hip has been hurting, at night and especially in the morning (MRI next Fri for the hip), and I'm feeling guilty about it so was out reading sermons and here's a section of one by my former pastor, Pastor Holub:
"Love your neighbor as yourself." So who exactly is my neighbor? If I take seriously all the biblical connections that this verse ties together, it’s the ones who look a little or a lot like Jesus, that’s who! The ones who are sick, lonely, lost, imprisoned, thirsty, starving, frightened, oppressed, poor, homeless, disenfranchised, displaced, grieving, refugeed, rejected and dying. The ones who look like Jesus on his way to the cross: the victims of devastating hurricanes; those dying of HIV/Aids; starving and orphaned children in sub-Sahara Africa; the unemployed and under-employed; the lonely teen-ager; the abused woman; the forgotten aged, and also the "aliens" among us, who have been branded with a disparaging name by our culture – "illegal".
I like this--the sermon talks about the parable of the good samaritan, where who is most like Jesus? It's perhaps not the person who saves the poor man in the ditch--it is perhaps the poor man in the ditch himself.
Sometimes I feel like that poor helpless person in the ditch, although I put on a darn good act! But there are others who are so often in those helpless situations, and those people did not put themselves there--it just happened.
God, please help those of us who find ourselves in those ditches, particularly those who get stuck there for far too long.