Friday, November 20, 2015

For Meditation: No such thing as love without risk

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When a legal scholar asked him who counts as a “neighbor,” Jesus did not answer but instead told a story about senseless attackers, a helpless victim, callous leaders, and a good Samaritan. Then he asked, “Who was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Basically, when the man asked, “Which people do I have to love?” Jesus rejected the question. It is not up to us to discern who to love. We are to love indiscriminately, not asking whether our beloved deserves our attention and assistance. We are to love universally, not allowing differences in ethnicity or religion to become barriers to compassion. We are to love dangerously, making ourselves vulnerable to betrayal, misunderstanding, and perhaps even death. Don’t forget that the Samaritan offered to pay the wounded man’s hospital bills, not knowing in advance what kind of commitment that would be. He did not interrogate the victim to make sure he was trustworthy, nor did he stop to calculate the cost of mercy. He loved, knowing full well that there is no such thing as love without risk.
Russell Johnson, from Facebook, 20 Nov. 2015

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