The Good Samaritan

A Related Story A Related Story (cl)

I was once, at times, a sort of intermittent travelling evangelist.
At one time, I was leading a team in a village near Leicester.
One day a man came up to me in the shopping street and said
"I am saved by grace. My place in heaven is assured."
A strange start to a conversation even on mission.

I said "So what are you doing about it?"
He then got into a tizz about works and grace
and started quoting Corinthians and such things
so we had a brief but lively chat outside the NatWest Bank.

Of course he was right about salvation by grace,
but it does seem that it should lead somewhere.
Grace without response seems somewhat empty.
After all, those early disciples seemed to work their socks off;
worked themselves to death in some cases.

The good and upright citizens; those assured, comfortable in their salvation, passed by,
but the person touched by God's Spirit stopped and helped;
offered unlimited aid even though he was an outsider.

Jesus condemns those holy citadels, self-assured, righteous and divisive,
or just passive and unresponsive to the call to feed the hungry,
that some people, and even churches, can easily become;

Perhaps the point is that you may be saved by Grace,
but Grace can be absorbed by an unresponsive legalistic shell
and hidden safely within it.

We are free to accept and to respond to Grace,
but that response doesn't take the form of self-indulgence or self-righteousness,
or even of security of tenure.
It will nearly always be something that spreads the experience of God's love.
Something active and self-giving.

Grace is not focused on self (my position my salvation, my righteousness)
but on the needs of others, on the opportunity to serve, not on being served.
Grace reflects the very heart of that God-within whose name and nature is Love,
and who urges us to love our neighbour, sacrificially, as He loves us.

Jesus spelt this out in parable after parable.
Spreading the good news that God loves you and you and you
Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves,
"So what am I doing about it?"