This morning I’m supremely conscious of the fact that I am meeting with the Lord at His invitation. It has not been appropriate for me to call on Him to meet with me, He is calling me. What a privilege! And that goes for all of us.
“The beach – the beach is bare – the waves roll in and wash up onto the beach – the waves are like My love, represented in waves of grace which I lavish on you – which come in to wash you clean and prepare you for more/new service for Me.”
What a strange message I think. Am I really hearing the Lord? Why the statement “the beach is bare?” His answer to me “It may seem like there is no-one out there hearing what you are saying, hearing what I am saying to you to pass on. That is not true – but my word to you is don’t concentrate on how many may be on the beach. First and foremost concentrate on the waves – the beauty, the power, the colours rolling over and over, dancing as the light catches the water from different angles, the smell, the experience of being pounded by the force of the water when you swim, the exhilaration as you catch a wave while you’re surfing – that is a little bit like vast kaleidoscope experience of My love, constantly surprising you by its incredible variety and beauty and unplumbed depth, which is a picture of my grace to you. I know you want to shout out and share his beautiful picture – but there is no-one there. Now my message to you is that is just your perception – that the beach is bare. Those who I want to hear from Me are listening. Its just not for you to know, so that you will not seek glory for yourself, but by faith just go on reflecting My glory to the readers”
Coming now to Luke my, reading is 10:20-37, which embraces the well-known story of the good Samaritan. Firstly I remember the context in vv 21-24, where Jesus warns the disciples that they should be like little children to be able to receive the full revelation of the “Father, Lord of heaven and earth”. Reminding us that His (Jesus’) words are actually a reflection of the Father’s word to Him. In the process He is also taking a bit of a swipe at some of those who are listening and regard themselves as wise and learned, ie the chief priests and the scribes.
So it is not a surprise that one of the main points of the good Samaritan story is one of judgement against those very people. What strikes me today about that story though, is a similarity to the story of the prodigal son. Firstly the Levite and the priest who pass on the other side of the road are like the elder brother, reminding us of the distraction of the religious establishment by their perception of their own importance. Then the wounded Jew is like the prodigal son, who represents the unsaved people, broken and wounded by the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil. And of course the rescuer is God, in this case more like Jesus who comes to bind up his wounds and heal him and who doesn’t just leave him alone, but makes provision for him and returns to follow up his progress.
In the end though the simple message of the parable, like all parables, is quite clear. “Go and do likewise”. The real question though is: how do I put this into practice? How does this change my way of thinking? Are you acting like this towards the neighbour who irritates the living daylights out of you, the one whose ideas and morals are totally in conflict with yours? Maybe God is going to bring a “Samaritan” over your path today.
This reminds me of a person, Mark, many years ago who became intimately involved with us through my Christian work. He was single and would pop in to our home, often at the most inconvenient times. One evening as we were sitting down to eat he walked in. We each gave up some of our supper so that he could join in and have some too. After polishing his plate clean he leaned back, wiping the juice off his mouth, announced: “Wow that went down well with the burger I’ve just eaten at the Spur”. Emily admitted to me that she had great difficulty in being loving towards him. Then he Lord intervened and he became very ill. Arriving at our door looking awful, Emily took him in and nursed him for several days. Later she confided in me how difficult it had been to take him in, but after caring for him she found that the Lord had helped her to change her attitude towards him totally and that she had actually grown to love him. So that’s how the Lord sometimes helps us to learn obedience to His word.
So who is your neighbour at the moment?