By Sandy Jones
Each winter I look forward to spring and Easter with zeal. After months of cold, grey weather, I welcome the warm sunshine and look earnestly for the first hints of new life in my flower beds; anxiously waiting for the grass to turn green. I am a Spring/Summer girl, but more than that, it’s as if God is reminding me of Jesus’ promised resurrection through these “signs.”
One time I heard a pastor say “preach a good message, use words only when necessary.” I often ask myself – is my walk preaching “a good message”? Do my daily actions reflect what I believe? Am I truly living out my faith? I confess, it’s a daily challenge.
Am I victorious every day? Nope. Am I always successful in walking out my faith? Not in the least – I’m fully human. I get frustrated in traffic; get annoyed when the grocery store is rearranged; and am far more judgmental than I should ever be. I’ll admit I have not yet arrived. I personally don’t believe that any of us will “arrive” in our lifetimes, as we are a continual work in progress.
One of my favorite mottos is: I’m not competing with anyone else, I’m merely trying to be better than I was yesterday.
In the age-old parable when Jesus was tested by a scholarly lawyer, He shared how The Good Samaritan stopped to help an injured traveler when holier men crossed the road and looked the other way. Meanwhile the Samaritan, who was looked down on by the Jewish, stopped to care for the injured man, and then went on to provide for the man’s needs during his time of recuperation.
At first glance this is a great lesson on doing the right things in life. However if we stop and think about it, isn’t Jesus really the Good Samaritan? Hasn’t He done the very same thing for each and every one of us – regardless of our pedigree or upbringing?
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:28 NIV
Until I went back and reread some of my earlier columns I didn’t quite realize how much the pandemic has changed life in general. We, as a society, have lost countless things, and sadly I’ve observed that in many ways our society has lost general decorum, or civility. For some people, it has stolen their joy.
As we prepare to celebrate Passover and Easter, I invite you to join me in digging deep to restore the joy in this world that is found in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the true Good Samaritan, and He loves you so much that He chose to come to earth, to live as a man, to die a brutal, sacrificial death for each of us. The fact that He rose again on the third day, as prophesied in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah, is cause to celebrate.
As my friend Greg often texts to remind me, don’t forget – “Jesus loves you!”
Until next time…
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And behold, a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he 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.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied and said,“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was on a journey came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” Luke 10:25-37 NASB