Theme of the Week: Reflecting God’s Generosity
Bible Verse: In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. Luke 10:30
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:30-37
Let’s be totally honest. There is no lack of opportunity to be generous. We are surrounded by needs of all sizes and of all levels of immediacy. And that’s just in our personal sphere of contact. With the news and internet keeping us connected to global events, we can be generous from our backyards to the backcountry of Australia, and every place in between.
On the other side of that is an equally confusing reality. When I was younger, there was (and still is) a caution to giving to pan-handlers. We didn’t want to give money to someone who would just use it for destructive vices (drugs and alcohol). And there are those who masquerade as being in need, but aren’t, or at least, not as in need as they claim to be.
With so many opportunities, it is a legitimate to ask: Who gets my generosity?
This week we have been looking at the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable offers us a good challenge to what we have that we can be generous with – our time, treasures, and talents. But it also gives us a little direction with who we can be generous toward.
I’d like to think that in cases as obvious as that in the parable, there would be no hesitation to stopping and offering help. But the first two people who come upon the wounded man skirt by with as little attention as possible. And these were God’s representatives! However, in obvious cases of need, we should stop and offer whatever we can. So, the immediate situation doesn’t help us sort out who to give to. But the background does.
In Jesus’s day, to say there was no love lost between Israelites and Samaritans would be an understatement. And that disdain went both ways. Each group had deep and historical reasons for why they saw the others as less than worthy. This history is partly what makes the parable so shocking. The “enemy” was the hero.
The point here is that we are not allowed to hold anything against those who are in need. The Jews listening to Jesus would have expected the Samaritan to follow suit with the priest and the Levite, to walk on by, because that is what most of them would have done if it were a Samaritan laying in the road.
Jesus challenges our view of who is worthy of our generosity. To the Jews of his day, a Samaritan would have been the lowest on the scale and the crowd would have understood implicitly that Jesus was saying,
Prayer: God I know that you gave your son while we were still sinners and enemies to you. I confess that sometimes my determination of how and to whom to be generous is not always made with the clearest criteria. Help me to see better who and how to help.
Reflection: Find someone today to whom you can be generous with either your time, talents, or treasures.
Copyright © 2022 Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.