From: David Kabanje
Date: December 9, 2021
Subject: GMU: What if the Good Samaritan walked on by?

Community of Faith + Love 

Beautiful People,

Our loving community enamors me. There is something special that God has built into Union's DNA that is so tangible and relevant. We care about each other—even though the devil may try to persuade us otherwise—we have a community that cares. I often wonder how different specific Bible stories would be if a caring person were absent or if individuals didn't respond to kindness. Such a story is the "Parable of the Good Samaritan." What would have happened if the Good Samaritan acted like a "stereotypical Samaritan" and let the overarching racial narrative control his actions? What would have happened if the robbed man were to reject the Good Samaritan's help? Now, these are both hypothetical questions; however, to some degree, they ring true to how we interact with God and with each other. We are a part of a faith community that cares for each other; however, what would happen if negative stereotypes and narratives impede our care for each other?

The parable of the Good Samaritan was a response to an expert of the law's self-justification. Jesus answered, "who is my neighbor" by painting a picture that dared to expand his definition of neighborly love. The love that the Good Samaritan demonstrated was all-encompassing, practical, non-judgmental, and merciful.

Now, let's flip the script; how often do we reject our neighbor's love? Spiritual pride stunts our growth in Christ and separates us from our loving communities. What would have happened to the robbed man if he had rejected the Good Samaritan's help? I don't know. What I do know is that when I reject my neighbor's love and help, I create a narrative of self-sufficiency. I need you, and I hope that you need me to because we are all brothers and sisters of one family—the family of God. I pray that we get rid of self-sufficiency and self-justification so that we can see the community of faith that God has created here at Union. I pray that we may be bold in doing life together as we express divine love that is holistic and practical because, in life's journey, we will alternate between doing good and receiving good from our neighbors.      
Have a good day, neighbor.    

P.S. Please join us this morning at uGather as we pray for the Force family and each other. Our uGather time will be focused on prayer and Jesus. If you feel burdened and heavy-laden, please join us as we bring all that we carry to the foot of Jesus.