SUN July 14, 2019 CHILDREN SERMON (prop cell phone)

“The neighbor who doesn’t live in my neighborhood?”

Let’s pretend that someone you know gets hurt.  Let’s say it is a next-door neighbor, perhaps the dad of a friend of yours.  He has fallen off the roof of his house.  There he is, lying on the ground.  Someone needs to get to a phone.  It might even be you if there isn’t anyone else around.  You call 9-1-1 and soon an ambulance arrives to take your neighbor to the hospital.  It certainly is good that we have telephones to call and get help.  It’s so easy.

A long time ago when Jesus told his story about the Good Samaritan there weren’t any phones.  A man was lying by the side of the road, robbed and beaten.  Nearly dead!  And he was a stranger in that area.  He was a man the Good Samaritan had never met before, yet the Good Samaritan was willing to help him.  What would you do?...

Let’s pretend that you are a grown-up.  There are no phones, no ambulances to call, and there in front of you is a man who is hurt and bleeding.  If you’re going to help him, you will have to do it yourself.  He isn’t a friend.  He isn’t a neighbor you recognize, he’s a stranger.  Someone you don’t know.  Someone you aren’t sure if you can trust.  Is he worth the time?  Should you spend hundreds of dollars to get him to a hospital and to pay his bills?  You’re a busy grown-up person.  You have things to do, a family who needs you.  You have more important matters to attend to.

Or do you?  Jesus said the most important commandment for us to keep is to love God with all our heart and to love the stranger who needs our help.  Jesus wants us to be good neighbors, to be kind to everyone, even if they don’t live next door to us.