Two quotes caught my attention from Judy’s talk. The first was this: “I believe our Samaria today are those people who have been hurt by those who claim to be the most pure followers of religion.” Judy spoke of Jesus’ love for the people of Samaria. The Samaritans were the people whom Jews despised and judged, resulting in pushing Samaritans further away from God (though they might have been open to Him). She then called us to identify the people groups today who have been hurt by those who claim to be the truest followers of Jesus.
Judy then referred to the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25–37, where Jesus made the Samaritan the hero of the story. In Jesus’ story, the Samaritan – the one who judged and pushed away by those who claim to have the purest faith – was the one cared for the wounded traveler (not the priest or the Levite). Judy’s second quote that caught my attention was this: “Give us the courage to make those we judge to be the heroes of our stories.”
In response to who we truly are in Christ, Judy called us to love Samaria and to be motivated by compassion. Those who felt called to reach Samaria were invited to come up and be anointed by oil.
I have been struck recently by the quote on the wall in the welcome area of our sanctuary. It says, “I Give You As A Light To the Nations, Therefore Make Disciples Of All Peoples.” In this quote, Jesus gives us a new name – “a light to the nations” – and as a result, we are called to make disciples of all peoples, motivated by compassion, not judgment. May we live into the name Jesus has given us!