This morning I preached a sermon on the being the best neighbours. I wrote this sermon a couple of weeks ago, long before George Floyd died at the hands of a police officer, someone who is meant to serve and protect the community. I have ruminated for the last couple of days over what I a privileged, white male from a lucky country like Australia can add to the discussion.
The only thing I am reminded about is a story the historical figure of Jesus told the lawmakers of his time. Everyone knows it, it is about the Good Samaritan. But I don’t want to focus on the Good Samaritan tonight, I think we can all agree that we have a moral duty to care for everyone around us no matter what is going on in their life.
I want to focus on the key questions that were asked in this exchange in Luke 10: 25-37. The Lawmaker asked Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life?“ Jesus’s reply is perhaps the most well known of his words. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.
Still not being satisfied and being of a prideful heart the lawmaker challenged Jesus again with this important question “who is my neighbour?
Who is my neighbour? After orating the lawmakers with his parable about the Good Samaritan Jesus asked the lawmaker and by extension all of humanity an essential question. “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? The response, “the one who showed him mercy!” Jesus commanded them in this moment to “Go and do likewise.”
Go and do likewise.
We have been commanded to go and show mercy, to go and stand up for justice in our communities. As we flick through the four Gospels we discover a historical figure of Jesus who stood up for those that were being failed by a societal system that oppressed entire segments of the community. The question I am left with is simple. Why aren’t we standing up for those being failed by a broken societal system? We are at the point where it isn’t good enough to not be racist… the time has come to be anti-racist.