Loving Our Neighbors
“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? ” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.” – Luke 10:36-37
Besides our giving out meals, another key part of our ministry is receiving prayer requests from the community. Anthony Burke does a great job of asking people for their requests. Last Wednesday Anthony received a prayer report from Lee Taylor said that our prayers for his sister Liz, who has emphysema, were answered. He said she is 100% better! We’re so thankful to hear this. Debby Riley spoke to James Smith, who comes to CCDC walking with the help of his cane. James asked for general prayers for himself and his family. We all have a common need for prayer for our family. Regardless of race or economic level, we have a need for prayer for our “daily bread.” When it comes to our basic needs, there is no difference among human beings regardless of their race or gender.
Whenever we serve meals at CCDC, we have people who come who are Black, White, Asian, Mexican — all ages and genders. One time at the Westminster Food Pantry, a transgender woman was harassed by a couple of individuals who hated gay people. The guys harassing her were soundly rebuked by those who saw what they were doing. I told her she was always welcome and we accepted her. We’ve not experienced racist behavior, except in one situation with a black family who felt they were mistreated by a white neighbor. We did what we could to support this black family. Although our nation seems to be pulling apart at the seams over race, we seek to help those who live in poverty to exist together in peace.
Besides race, what seems to divide people, from my observation, is social and economic class. We tend to judge people because of their clothing, hygiene, or the way they talk, regardless of what color of skin they have. The Parable of the Good Samaritan reveals these prejudices against those of a different race and class. Jesus was amazing in that he spent almost all of his time with those most economically disadvantaged and racially oppressed. His teachings often dealt with his concern for such people.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan, in an incredibly brilliant way, tears down all walls. The parable, in which a disdained Samaritan man is the hero, is told to an upper-class educated Jewish man. When an upstanding Jewish elder asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus gives him an answer that blows apart his limited view of “loving your neighbor.” Love crushes the human-erected barriers and extends true compassion. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” CCDC is a ministry that seeks to “Do the same,” and overcome the limits of what it means to love your neighbor.
Come support our multiracial ministry that seeks to live out Christ’s teaching on how to love our neighbor.
May God’s peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley