Samaritans

Pastor Chris challenged us this week to look at who the Samaritans are in our lives, those who were the excluded group.  He told how the first black Methodist men left the balcony of the “integrated” church, approached the altar and were quickly removed by those good Christians.  My heart recoiled.

Who are the people we think we are including, yet creating different rules, different places for them to worship, different ways for them to live.  As Christians, our job is only to love.  So incredibly simple.   We all seem to want the job of CEO, decide the policy, influence the decisions of the board.  We don’t recognize that job is filled.  We will never hold that position no matter our ambitions or good works.  We will always be entry level workers, all of us, no hierarchy.  No ladder of success to climb, a very simple task to complete every day: “love your neighbor as yourself.” Easy when our neighbor looks like us, votes like us, marries like us.  Pastor Chris reminded us we were all once the excluded group, the gentiles.  Someone took a chance and let us approach the altar.  Aren’t we full of ourselves now?  We have forgotten what it felt like to sit in the balcony, separated from the real worshippers of God.  Someone decided we counted too, we were worthy of the love of God.  Someone decided it was only their job to love us, not judge us by our lack of circumcision or adherence to the rules.

We are surrounded by “Samaritans” who God is calling us to love, to bring up to the altar.  To step aside from our positions of righteousness and rules and just invite to worship God together.  All the colors scattered are beautiful but when joined, create a beautiful rainbow, one we leave our homes after a storm to revel in, take pictures of.  We remember that this rainbow is a gift from God.  I pray we find our churches filled with so many different people we can see only the glorious rainbow of God’s people singing holiness to the CEO.  Surely that is what HE is asking, a joining of His people.

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