As I try to write this about the ways in which we may have reached out his week, I cannot get the mass shooting in Las Vegas out of my mind and heart. Who is my neighbor? This is the very end of Luke 10:25-37, the passage from which this section of The Daily Connection springs:
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
At the time of this writing, we don't know much about the gunman or his motive. But he was someone's brother. He was someone's son. He was literally someone's neighbor. And he was a neighbor to all of us because he was one of God's people. We may never know what caused this retired accountant and avid gambler to do what any of us would define as the unthinkable. His family hurts, also. Was there something that could have been done to have changed the tragectory of this man's life? Was someone a neighbor to him when he needed it?
And of course those who died, who are injured, who are forever traumatized, who lost loved ones.....they are the ones our hearts run to when we hear of such a horrific tragedy. There are stories upon stories of people running back in to help the injured, of off duty police officers, medical professionals, and others springing into action to do what they could to bring hope to this terrified crowd.
And yet......in the midst of this kind of world.....we are called to be the love of Christ to those who are hurt.....in whatever form that hurt takes. When we feel helpless, it's time for us to help.....help anyone......just be that neighbor......to your literal neighbors, to your friends, to your enemies.....to the homeless, to the rich, to the annoying person, to the sweetest person. We all need a neighbor sometime.....find someone today to serve in even the smallest of ways.
Here is an excellent article that reflects this spirit as we hurt from the recent violence in Las Vegas and around the world: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/you-did-it-for-me-serving-others-in-times-of-tragedy
About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC