This week, Rev. Joanne discussed the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Too often we gloss over the parable Jesus tells as He explains what God expects of us: to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. The obvious take of the parable is that someone who was not expected to help someone in need at the roadside did indeed help, while others did not.
It’s easy today to give to charity or support a cause. Indeed, many organizations that make an incredible difference in the lives of people in Barrie, in Ontario and across our country and around the world rely on donations of money and of time and energy. Our world would be a much crueller, harder place to live if it were not for these groups and their volunteers who strive to show compassion for their chosen group – be it those with addictions, those with disabilities or those looking for a safe place to call home, away from violence.
But too often we overlook the roadside opportunities to show compassion, kindness and grace.
We can show mercy — as the Oxford dictionary defines it as showing compassion when we could choose to punish or harm — in many times and spaces in each day.
It’s often easy to be mean; just imagine being stuck in line while waiting for your morning coffee. A snide remark can come too easily to our lips, and we can justify it to ourselves by blaming it on our needing a dose of java. It takes more strength to be merciful and kind: Indeed, we could skip the nasty remark and instead offer an encouraging word and make a joke about our – and our society’s — craving for a quick caffeinated jolt.
It is too easy to complain to the restaurant manager about the meal that arrived a bit cold or not quite right. Yet, in our days, restaurants continue to struggle as their costs rise and staffing shortages persist. Offering an honest compliment on something that was good would be a balm in someone’s hectic shift. That is the mercy of kindness.
When we see someone make a mistake – and we all at some point have made a mistake – we can choose to gently correct the error, rather than rage and embarrass those involved. That is the mercy of grace.
We can choose to listen to someone at break time or offer encouragement as they share about their morning, afternoon or evening. That is simply being compassionate.
Opportunities abound for us to show mercy, grace, kindness and compassion – all in a day’s work and play. It’s a matter of recognizing them and choosing to be gracious, kind and compassionate. And sometimes, that entails being brave.
To hear Rev. Joanne’s full message of hope, visit https://youtu.be/LC-52Uwebp8; the message begins at approximately minute 32.
You can read more in Luke 10, online at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=NIV